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PHOTO CREDIT: BETZ

ISSUE 04


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J E N N I F E R S T O N E [ W I Z A R D S O F WAV E R LY P L AC E ]

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NAT W O O D [ M M A ] [ B A DW O O D C L O T H I N G ]

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TRICKSTER GURU

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INDIA BENÉT

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KAMIL MASSARNOWSKI

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K H A L I L R A FAT I [ M M A ] [ AU T H O R , I F O R G O T T O D I E ]

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Y V E S M AT H I E U

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LUCKIE SIGOUIN

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B R AY L E N B R O O K S

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L U K E S H E LT O N

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A L E X J OY

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AL COPELAND

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A N DY G A B L E R [ N O U V E AU R I C H E C O L L E C T I O N ]

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C A N DY C E H E AT H E R

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DA N N I E M A R I E

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INDIGENOUS DESTINY

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JEANNETTE GROUT

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ERIN GALES

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K A R A M AG N U S O N

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K I M O NA K I S TA N

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SARAH FELDHUT

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SHANE FENSKE

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NA L I

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DUSTIN CRAMER

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Scott Simock

PHOTO CREDIT:BETZ

“What’s positive about fame, is the opportunities it creates. What’s negative about fame, is potentially losing touch with the reason you started creating in the first place.”

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My name is Jennifer Stone and I'm an actor. My passion is creating and providing space for people to feel understood and connected through art. Fame isn't real, but it is easy to buy into. If fame is your objective, you’re setting yourself up for a cyclical existence of chasing your own tail for validation. The more someone buys into the bubble of fame, the further they get from being able to create something honest and relatable. Fame should be a means not an end. I believe the only real value in obtaining fame is using it as a tool. Fame can ensure access to the resources it takes to create the genre of projects that made you want to be an entertainer in the first place. Fame is based on the worlds you value and the universes you surround yourself with. For every artist that’s famous, there will be someone who has no clue who that artist is. Though I don’t believe all publicity is good publicity, these days, it seems any bit of attention can be spun into something marketable. What’s positive about fame is the opportunity it creates. What’s negative about fame is potentially losing touch with the reason you started creating in the first place. In the past, I’ve felt the need to control what others said about me. Getting rejected after pouring your heart out can make a person feel exposed. When someone chooses not to see you, and you want to be seen, for who you

truly are, it can be debilitating. When someone doesn't understand something that I’ve poured my heart into, it makes me feel vulnerable and isolated. In the past, I was consumed with being attractive to guys. I felt unattractive in my skin. I spent so much time reading books and articles on how to be enticing. Thinking back, I regret all the time I spent seeking another person’s approval, rather than working to obtain my own self-approval. My time would have been a lot better spent. I’ve come to the conclusion that people are going to say what they want, regardless of your efforts to influence their words. Those that are meant for you will get what you are putting out. I’m not everyone's cup of tea, but there will always be a tribe of people who’ve been waiting for my brew to be featured on the menu. In the age of social media, you have to do a certain amount of self-promotion. The balance is to ensure that most of your attention remains on your craft. This is advice that I still have a hard time taking myself, but remember to remain focused and persistent, no matter what comes your way. Being persistent and focused can make all the difference. It can determine whether or not you make it in the industry. 

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#MillennialMentorAward

“I didn't initially plan on creating a clothing company. I didn't have much money, so I printed my shirts on a janky setup. I shipped from my house. After about eight months, I couldn't keep up with the orders.�

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My name is Nat Wood and I am the designer and owner of BADWOOD clothing company. I didn't initially plan on creating a clothing company. In 2013, I received a suspended license, wasn't in school and was doing street art (stenciling). That's when I came up with the ski mask design and the name BADWOOD. I spray painted the ski mask stencil onto a sweatshirt and got crazy feedback from my online followers. I decided to learn how to screen print, so I could make my sweaters. I started my little online shop, and had no idea it would turn into what it is today. I’m so grateful. I didn't have much money, so I printed the shirts on a janky setup and shipped from my house. After about eight months, I couldn't keep up with the orders. I had a contractor print my clothes in bulk, with labels. This made the brand look more professional and clean. BADWOOD is a lifestyle. I believe in living a creative life, that I love. For me, that's art, drinking, good fuckin times, good fuckin people and creating as much as I can. Mix that in with hot babes and cock. I love hot girls, especially hot tomboys. I believe that BADWOOD resonates with people because of it’s authenticity. I created something that I wanted to wear. I hadn't even intentionally set out to start a clothing brand. It was shocking that people liked what I created. The success of BADOOWD is still unbelievable. It’s humbling. I'm grateful for the people who rep BADWOOD. It feels incredible to be recognized for doing what I love. With regards to the growth

of BADWOOD, I’m expanding into different types of clothing: workout gear, bikinis, snowboarding gear, etc. I'd like to get BADWOOD into some streetwear stores in core cities around the country, but NO SELL OUT DEPARTMENT STORES! I also want to start more collections which give back. I have the "HEROES" collection which donates to our veterans (Semper Fi Fund) which is doing well. I'm in the works of finishing the "BULLY BREED" collection which will give back to shelter dogs. Fame is a chance to make a difference and influence others in the right way. It's what you make it. Make it positive. I don't have an ego. I feel shy when I get compliments about the brand in person. It's awesome, and I'm cheesin, speechless. I felt rejected by the school system . Teachers would yell at me for always drawing in class. I'd be thinking, "wtf, I'm not doing anything wrong?" I always knew that I wasn't going to need traditional schooling for whatever path I was going to take in life. I just had that tunnel vision to graduate high school so that I could start LIVING. If you’re trying to create a brand, don't try so hard. I've seen many kids my age trying to create a "brand" because they want to make money or something. If you're actually a creative person, you'll fuckin get it. I've had whack small companies rip off my artwork and sell it (which is illegal). Focus on your style and what YOU want to portray. Love what you do, and you'll find your way to success.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Christopher Captain, @CAPTAINLENS

“Fame is as real as we collectively permit it to be.”

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My name is Christopher Caplan, and to some - Trickster Guru. I’m a singer/songwriter, producer, and multi instrumentalist based in Los Angeles. I have bigger ideas for where I want to go with my creativity and the evolution of technology and art. But for now, this mode of expression is happily my point A. My purpose in life is to dig as deep within my potential as possible and share what I find authentically with the world. I want to make cool things and give them away. To be as vulnerable as possible, always learning and evolving. I feel most motivated by creativity and connection. I live for those moments when I feel truly connected to the source of life, with my unique inspiration. I’m lucky enough to share those moments with other people to create new collective experiences through art - that’s motivating. Fame is thousands, millions, sometimes billions of versions of the same person looking at oneself. To me, fame is a means to an end. When used wisely it can be an amplifier of ideas and cultural values. When misused you become the means to someone else’s ends. Fame is the most realistic illusion there is. It’s as if you’ve walked into a hall of mirrors. What you’re experiencing and seeing is technically real, but you’re being tricked by a distortion of reality at the same time. It’s as real as we collectively permit it to be. If I had fame, I would try to pivot it into influence as soon as possible. I don’t care about being seen for the sake of being seen. I want to return the favor my

idols did for me by blazing my own path, then paying it forward along the continuum. Fame would probably change me, as much as money or success inevitably changes anyone. If it ever momentarily turns me into a shitty person I know that the blowback would lead me to even greater humility and discipline. Hopefully, I can learn to leverage it with detachment. Fame does motivate me to hustle harder. Partly because there’s a certain level of visibility I want to reach to feel like my ideas were executed successfully. My most important short and long-term goal is first to make a scene and then make a difference. When artists say they felt famous before they were already famous, I think they are referring to this innate knowing of who they are and what they’re capable of. So many people get caught up in how they “need this thing to be who they want to be.” Rather than knowing and being who they are with confidence first and letting the rest fall in place through focused, sustained the effort. Not all publicity is good publicity. Exposure is one thing, and sometimes it’s the ultimate takeaway if you have a negative spotlight situation. But now the internet allows bad publicity to exist forever. You’re more liable now for your social footprint than ever. It is an artist’s responsibility to create their own hype. That’s not to say it isn’t helpful to have a machine in place covering your bases behind you, making things appear to be effortless and natural. Social media has completely changed the way artists achieve success. It’s created the

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next generation of status anxiety. In our hyperconnected, me-too society the limitless amounts of information make us gravitate towards the familiar. We all want to differentiate ourselves, yet have some level of popularity. There’s been a trend in music journalism that’s emerged in the past decade that has affected everything. It’s called optimism. It’s suddenly acceptable - even preferable for “alternative” artists to be some version of pop. If it’s the right kind of pop that is. Faking it until you make it is a part of coming up in the entertainment industry. Even people who appear to have “made it” are upholding a combination of achievement, as well as smoke and mirrors until they get a grip on the nearest lifeboat. Then they rinse and repeat. I’m honest about where I’m at with my career with people but at the same time, you’ve always got to be pushing upwards. Just keep swimming, as the bluefish once said. I’ve gotten a lot better at handling rejection. It is constant, and if you want to get anywhere, you have to accept it as a fact of life. It is nice to be accepted and praised. But it can be harmful to expect it, and dangerous to rely on it. I think my ego is at a healthy size. But some around me may disagree (haha). My ego can be helpful in moments where blind confidence can go a long way. Once it becomes my tripwire I try to put it to rest. Haters most definitely come with fame. Haters come with being a public person in general. I have haters though most of them aren’t as verbal at the moment. I’ll never forget when I put out my first music video. Someone commented, “tired of this pretentious hipster bullshit.” And proceeded to create fake accounts to down-vote other positive feedback on the video. In my head I was like, “dude, this video has barely broken 1000 views! Why even?” But I ended up just thanking him for sharing. Calling your haters “confused admirers” is an interesting and perhaps valid justification, but the truth is not everyone is going to like you, for whatever reason. I would be lying if I told you that I didn’t care about what other people think of me. It’s healthy and unavoidable. What matters most is how I feel

about myself. People seem to respond more to that feeling anyhow. I do believe I have the “x” factor.. that I can become a star in my right. But talent and belief are not always enough, especially in a place like Los Angeles. Hard work and luck are critical. But if I’m ever doubting myself, I just put on the song “Star” by Gary Clark Jr. That track is killer. When Andy Warhol said that, “In the future, we will all be famous for 15 minutes,” I don’t know if he foresaw how true that would be with the advent of the internet. I do think he was clairvoyant in seeing the possibility of streamlined narcissism as technology evolved in the 21st century. My advice for the next generation of artists with regards to fame and the entertainment industry would always be to dig deeper. You are an individual amongst many. Neglect either of those facts at your peril. Your job as an artist is to make art. To reflect this thing called reality, or distort it in the name of beauty. Your job is not to be popular. Culture is a living, breathing, thinking organism. It is always asking questions of itself. Artists become leaders when they answer that question.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Sheryl Nieds

“Feeling connected to the public persona of a famous person as an individual, is an illusion. I see fame as the acknowledgment of a person or figurehead who resonates with a number of shared qualities or taboos within their generation. My name is India Benét. I’m a vocalist, songwriter, sometimes stylist, and general creator.” 9


My name is India Benét. I’m a vocalist, songwriter, sometimes stylist, and general creator. My purpose is to direct my energy and talents toward contributing to the progression toward a more honest, compassionate and open-minded world. I hope that my creative efforts encourage people to feel inspired to love themselves, love others, question societal expectations, and, of course, feel good to be alive. I’m motivated by a craving to create. I love digging into what’s uncomfortable, invigorating or challenging. It's a thrill to think of ways to put feelings to words, colors, melodies or wardrobe. A desire to connect with creativity and ideas pulls me forward toward the next thing. I have very polarizing feelings about fame. In one sense, fame is access. When your work (or reputation/persona) speaks for itself, it cuts through some of the red tapes of life in a major way. However, it can also be an energy-sucking, privacydestroying monster. It all depends on your attitude and how tight your head’s screwed on, I suppose. Fame can be so intense and pervasive. I think it’s overvalued in our culture. Feeling connected to the public persona of a famous person as an individual is an illusion. Stockholders and marketing teams so often craft These characters. I see fame as the acknowledgment of a person or figurehead who resonates with some shared qualities or taboos within their generation. There is something about the connection to the message, intention, and direction that’s substantial and essential to human connection. If fame can achieve that, I guess it’s not so bad. With fame, I would use my voice to bring light to issues long ignored or unaddressed. There’s so much bullshit going on in the world that is long

overdue for upheaval and transformation. Our school system is messed up, our citizens don’t feel safe, women are not fully honored and protected by the law in too many contexts. People feel underrepresented, ignored and left behind by those who are supposed to be taking care of them. I’d benefit from the access upgrade by connecting with likeminded individuals creators with aligned goals to expand and grow collectively. I hope to surround myself with peers and mentors to learn from and grow with. I would most definitely use my fame as a platform to fight for human rights. Fame is too often wasted on vapid self-congratulation. What’s the point of all that attention if you have nothing of value to say or contribute? I don't think fame would change who I am. My circle of friends and family is strong. I feel supported, loved, challenged and encouraged to be my best self. Fame is a somewhat discouraging factor in my personal creative journey. It freaks me out to think about living under a microscope. However, I love to share ideas and express myself through music and performance. I’m playing with the idea of releasing my original music under an alter ego separate from my identity. My motivation to hustle is more the longing to be a part of the public artistic conversation. My most important short-term goal is to perform the set I’ve been preparing. Biggest long term goal (not too long term) is to release my first collection of tunes. Almost all publicity can be spun and crafted into a greater narrative that can ultimately become empowering. The story of the fallen rising from the ashes is inspiring to audiences. It’s also easy to let the media cycle chew you up and spit you out with no reward. There’s so much luck, grace, timing and

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tact involved. It’s so important to be self-aware and always continue growing. It’s the artist’s responsibility to believe in themselves and their product, whatever that may be. You’ve got to be passionate about what you’re making. The selfpromo part comes about naturally through solidifying the work, message, and passion. As my craft and artistic voice become more refined, my confidence grows. It makes the idea of self-promo feel like a natural progression. I’ve generated my hype more so behind the scenes at this point, communicating my vision to musical collaborators. As I begin releasing my work, I plan to become more active with social media. I do have Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr pages where I share photos, sometimes videos of myself singing, art, and interests of all kinds. Social media has allowed musicians to have constant and direct access to their fans. The entertainment industry as a whole is still figuring out this giant new frontier, and the progression of it all is going through a difficult phase. For a while, there’s been a disproportionate emphasis placed on followers vs. content and artistry. Followers don’t always translate into sales or meaningful, lasting connection to artists. It’s common for creative thinkers to feel like imposters, no matter how successful they become. When I’m feeling unsure, I put on my invisible crown and work it out. Rejection sucks, but it’s a gift. One situation where I handled rejection was my experience shopping my original music. A while back I connected with a producer whose work I’ve loved since I was a kid, and we began a creative relationship. At the time, he was an executive at one of the majors. He loved the music but felt that to sign me he still needed a song or two more to hit home a definite picture of who I am as an artist and what I care about most. At the time, I felt very scattered and confused about my identity amidst a bunch of changes going on at once: Graduation, a breakup, additions to my family, and a general shift and progression of the way I see myself about the world. I try not to see rejection as the end-all, be-all because it never truly is. His advice lead to more purpose in my process of self-discovery. I’m super grateful for constructive criticism and even rejection. Sometimes the timing just isn’t right. My ego pops up most in the form of perfectionism. I

obsess about wanting everything to be professional and ready. It’s something I’m working on. So much of artistic beauty is found within spontaneous when unplanned moments. I also feel my ego taking the wheel in the form of comparing myself to others. It’s stupid to waste time comparing and feeling creatively competitive for selfish reasons. Do what you love because you love it, not because of the glory or status you think you’ll get. Haters for sure come with fame. I’ve had some uncomfortable situations when people made assumptions about me as an extension of my dad. He sings and has achieved fame from his work as a performer and songwriter. In high school, when I first started getting more involved in pursuing music as a profession, there were a few kids at school who had something to say about it. It got back to me that some kids were saying stuff like, “She’s not that good, people only care about her because her dad is famous.” It used to discourage me. Part of me would think about that latter part, considering that, “ well, I haven’t released any of my original songs yet, and I do have the advantage of a pocket of people knowing about me… Maybe I am a piece-of-shit entitled Hollywood kid.” In reality, my dad isn’t involved at all in my creative process. It feels awkward for me to receive attention because of my Dad and his work. We have such different tastes and artistic voices. I’m super proud to be associated with him and his talent, but attention for artistic creation is SO much more rewarding, valuable and meaningful than the automatic-celeb-card of being the child of an entertainer. I’m excited to establish my voice in the public sphere, and to be known for my work. If people hate on that, who cares. I made the stuff I wanted to make. Not everyone’s going to like it, but I think some cool people will. I hope that people see me as someone who cares about craft and message. I’m pretty low key about everything I’ve been up to, so I don’t think very many people know much about me at all at this point. It’s exciting. There had been times when I limited myself artistically based on externally imposed boxes of genre and race. I love rock music, but up until recently I didn’t fully allow myself to explore the possibility that I could include elements of rock in my work. A handful of industry people have told me that audiences won’t be into a black girl with a

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soulful voice singing over an electric guitar and real instruments. They said white people won’t accept it, and black people won’t be into it. I’ve also heard that because I’m a young woman, people would rather hear me sing about partying or falling in love than dealing with complex emotions or exerting independence. I hadn’t seen a whole lot of individuals creating the kind of music I wanted to hear, but I took their word over my instincts and passion for a while. I recorded some songs that were more “urban” or “rhythmic,” and tried to squish my puzzle piece into that mold for a bit. Not surprisingly, it didn’t fit. I’m so confident in my voice, now. It’s very empowering to explore, study and channel the artists I care about instead of focusing on what I think the mainstream music audience is going to be into, or “ready for” based on the barriers of race or genre. I think the X factor is a combination of confidence, purpose, passion and artistic vulnerability, swirling together to become a magnetizing force. I’ve got those things. Warhol was aware of the possibilities of communication, technology, and the intrinsic human need to express. Everyone’s got a story, and now we live in a time when we can all follow and be a part of more stories than ever before. My advice to other artists would be to prioritize message and craft over personal fame. Take the time to listen to the voices in your head, and allow yourself to follow the call of passion. What you make doesn’t have to be perfect, but if it makes you feel something deeply, you’re on the right track.

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PHOTO CREDIT(S): Lukasz Dziewic

“My full name is Kamil Massarnowski. I’m from Poland. To begin, I’d like to say that it’s a wonderful feeling to be here again. To play a part in something so special. Thank you for featuring me in this issue.”

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My full name is Kamil Massarnowski, and I’m from Poland. At the very beginning I’d like to say that it’s a wonderful feeling to be here again, to be a part of something very special - thank you for featuring me in this issue. I’m a high school student. Thank God this is my final year, only four months left. I also work as a model and after my high school finals, I’d like to do it full time. Like traveling from place to place, earning money, meeting people. High life. My main purpose in life is to be happy. I know it seems to sound shallow, but this is what I want the most. I want to live life and have no regrets. To love and to be loved. To be surrounded by the love of life and my family and friends. I’m afraid of loneliness. Having a huge family is at the top of my ‘dreams’ list. As the house full of children, full of laughter and positive vibes. I also want infect people with my energy and with my smile. What motivates me the most are the failures I had. Always try to draw conclusions from what went wrong. No, I do not regret them. I always find them as lessons. I grew up very fast. The people I was surrounded by. My friends are mostly older than me, but I don’t see any difference between them and me. My dreams motivate me. I set some goals, and I turn them first into dreams and then into reality. It’s not easy to explain what exactly fame means to me. I’m not that famous as

Angelina Jolie or David Beckham but if I were I’d use it as a weapon to change the world for better. I have my idols who I look up to. They inspire me. They give me hope. They tell me not to give up. And in few years, I would like to hear from people something like ‘It’s because of you I didn’t give up.' Somehow I want to inspire people by what I do. Nowadays I think fame starts on the internet. Social media like Instagram, youtube or twitter. Yes, they have a power! The Internet has the authority. When you have like few million ‘followers’ or ‘subscribers’ you can easily reach to everyone. With a proper message, you can achieve significant results. But only if you do it right. Some of those ‘famous people’ are selfish and only care about themselves. I want to fight for human rights especially children and LGBTQ society. We should spread the good word, to love one another – not hate. It’s high time for changes. Fame comes and goes. Today it is and tomorrow it is gone. You should use your proverbial ‘5 minutes’ to do something good for the world. It’s not an illusion. It happens to people, and some of them just lose themselves in a glory. It’s wrong. Come on, it’s your chance to go down in a history. Use it, don’t lose it. Sometimes it happens to wrong people who don’t know how to handle it. I realize that having an idol has a big impact on who we will be in the future. I admire my idols, and I can 14


proudly say that they raised my self-confidence a lot. I know that anything is possible. I think fame wouldn't change me. I’m not that type of a person. I have some rules, and I strictly stick to them. Never cross the line. Maybe in the past, the old me would have answered differently, but I have already figured out who I am and what counts in life. I know my values. I know what people love me. I know my virtues and flaws. I am who I am. If I got to be big someday, I would surely use it in a right way. I think that obtaining fame would drive me to hustle harder. If I want my name to be remembered, I can’t rest on the laurels. Nowadays it 's hard to stay on top. To be on the podium, you have to spend a lot of time and put on a lot of attempts. As it says, hard work pays off. So be patient and you’ll see the results soon. The most important short-term goal is to pass my finals and go abroad to study in Wales; this is what I will focus on in 2016. I've been dreaming of studying abroad since I was 16. When it comes to my long-term goal, it’s difficult to say. I want to make my dreams come true, so this year I am going to focus on myself. During summer holidays, I would like to visit New York City. I’ve been dreaming about it since I was 14. I also want to focus on modeling and traveling the world. Maybe Asia? Or the USA? I'm not sure. I'll stay patient because everything is already written in the stars. I think that some people from their early age feel that in a few years they will be stars, they will be at the top. They are focused on being successful, and nothing will stop them from achieving it. Publicity is good publicity. Every publicity should contain a message. We are the recipients. Publicity can not primarily injure the reputation of the artist. Let’s have a look at Instagram. There, stars share their private lives with their fans. We have to be careful not to exceed a certain limit, though.

It's the artist's responsibility to create their hype. Of course; artists have managers and staff who work for them, for their image, but the biggest 'job' belongs to artists. Their temperament, personality traits, ability to gain the sympathy of fans and also they have to know how to promote, how to ‘sell’ themselves. I do generate my hype, as much as I can. I use Instagram, Facebook, and Snapchat to do it. The more followers on Instagram you have, the more popular you are in real life. There is power in ‘faking it until you make it’. If you don’t feel self-confident, you pretend you are until you gain the proper experience or tools necessary that it is all for real. I read somewhere that it helps to combat depression. I realized that everything starts in our minds, how powerful our brain is. It’s tough to be rejected. No one wants to be. If someone rejects us, our self-confidence falls. Feels like we’re nothing remarkable. It’s even worse if it’s connected with our dreams as in my case for example. I remember being rejected. It was exactly a year ago, back then my biggest dream was to become a model. I was rejected by four agencies. Can you imagine when suddenly the ideas you wanted to make come true collapse like a house of cards? I didn’t give up on my goals. All I needed was a little bit of patience and work. After a while, I finally signed a contract and month later I was walking at Fashion Week Poland. Don’t worry about being rejected, head up and smile.My ego is not that big as other models as I see. It’s true that some models have a big one, I met some. They act like ‘Ekhm excuse me, I’m a model, so I deserve the world.’. People who don’t know me tend to judge me for what my hobby is. I hate it. Once I heard a sentence which stuck in my mind. I was about to meet a friend of my friend. The girl said to me ‘You know, I was looking at your Instagram photos, and I

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thought you are big-headed, but now I see I was wrong.’ Our 3 is friends until today. Don’t judge a book by its cover. Some people are naturally jealous of someone’s luck, happiness and too scared to reach for their dreams. I don’t have any haters. I don’t know what’s wrong with me? Did I do something the wrong way? Kidding. I'm just not the kind of person who likes to argue with others. Of course, if someone insults my close ones or me, I am not going to be sitting in silence. I don’t mind having haters as long as I have my great supporters who are always by my side. I used to care what others thought of me. These days, I have better things to do. In the past, I cared what people said about me. Nobody likes to be criticized. Regardless of whether or not I have haters, I’m sure I have the ‘X’ factor; otherwise, I wouldn’t be here. I don’t want to be just another star; I want to be someone who can change this world for better. I haven’t figured out how, but I’m working on it. . I believe in my potential. If I wouldn’t, who else would? Let’s remember that each of us have the same amount of time in a day. Andy Warhol once said that we will all be famous for 15 minutes in the future. It only depends on us if we can use that time correctly. Right place, right time, and we can do the impossible. My advice to the next generation of artists is: do not lose yourself in all this ‘fame’ stuff. Always remember to follow your path, not others. And that they should sign up for Instagram and Facebook as soon as they can.

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#MillennialMentorAward

“After surviving an extremely traumatizing childhood, filled with neglect, abuse, (both sexual and physical) and violence, I found myself self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. I eventually wound up homeless and addicted to heroin and crack. By the grace of God, I survived, and found myself, at 33 years old, a high school dropout, convicted felon, and penniless. Now, twelve years later, I'm incredibly healthy, happy, and prosperous. My name is Khalil Rafati. My purpose in life, simply put, is to love, heal, and inspire others.� 17


My name is Khalil Rafati and my purpose in life, simply put, is to love, heal, and inspire others. After surviving an extremely traumatizing childhood, filled with neglect, abuse (both sexual and physical), and violence, I found myself self-medicating with drugs and alcohol. I eventually winding up homeless and addicted to heroin and crack. By the grace of God, I survived that as well, and found myself, at 33 years old, a high school dropout, convicted felon, and penniless. Now, twelve years later, I am incredibly healthy, happy, and prosperous. I was suicidal during most of my adolescence and most of my adulthood. Somehow, I am still here. Somehow, I Forgot to Die. Sunlife Organics is a popular chain of juice bars located in Southern California. It started in 2011 as a small mom and pop shop located in the Point Dume Village shopping center near Zuma Beach. I wanted to share with the people in my community the incredible benefits of eating healthy; I wanted to share with others, the remarkable transformational that took place for me, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. The first day that we opened our doors, in 2011, our target goal was to serve 100 customers within the year, and that day, we served over 250 people. I realized, at that moment, that we were really onto something. Today, we serve well over 1500 people a day, and that number

grows with each store that we open. There have been hundreds of setbacks, some of which seemed insurmountable, but after what I had survived in my childhood, then on the streets, I became very familiar with, upon being knocked down, getting back up, dusting myself off, and moving forward. There were days, weeks, even months when it seemed like we were doomed (we took out big loans, had awful partners that we had to buy out, etc.), but I got up every morning, said my prayers, and went to work, ready to serve the community. Malibu Beach Yoga is a yoga studio located in Malibu, California. I’m obsessed with yoga and got tired of driving all the way to Santa Monica to go to a great yoga class, so I opened my own. If you’re struggling with addition, get some help: find a 12-step meeting, go to rehab, surrender—throw in the towel—and pray. Find a way to change, because if you don’t, you will blink and find yourself at 30, filled with regrets. If you aspire to one day launch a successful business, get a job, work your ass off, save your money and start by branding yourself. Be careful what you put on social media (because it’s forever), and never, ever give up. You can purchase my new book on Amazon and at Sunlife Organics stores. You can follow @iforgottodiebook on Instagram and visit www.iforgottodie.com for updates. 18


PHOTO CREDIT: Alex D Rogers

“Fame wouldn’t change me, because Christ already has. I once had this beautiful elderly woman spit on me, after she kindly asked to see my tattoos. She told me that I was extremely polite, and it would break her heart to see me in the flames of hell. I turned to walk away from her, and she hocked and spit on my shoulder. I took off my shirt, wiped away the spit and threw it in the trash. I kept walking. I didn’t say a word as she was shouting.” 19


My name is Yves; I'm a full-time model and brand ambassador. My purpose in life is Christ and people. What does fame mean to me? To be short, I would say it just means a lot of notoriety. Also, fame means everyone knows everything about you, or, at least, thinking they do. Fame can sometimes be an illusion, the real part of fame is the attention you get, people always wanting you for whatever reason, what's not so real about fame is people genuinely wanting you, some people just yearn for the exterior and not what lies beneath all of this. With fame, I would buy my parents a spacious house, and help everyone that I can get in any way as cliche' as that sounds. I don't think fame would change me because Christ already has. I don't think obtaining fame would motivate me to hustle harder- whether I'm working to influence one person, or a million, I'm still going to rise and grind like every day is my last day. My most important short-term goal is to continue working at this speed, my most important long-term goal is to just hopefully survive so I can continue to show people that anything is possible, it's hard to stay alive these days, not just externally but internally. Whenever artists say they already felt famous before they were famous, I guess it's just this feeling that you have inside of you, a common knowledge with yourself. Like for someone who likes brownies, you know in your

heart you like brownies, or for someone who's gay, you know you're gay, you just know it, if you know you're going to be famous, you know it, you feel it, it's not a matter of why you know, it's a question of when the rest of the world will know you. I don't think all publicity is good publicity, but if you're getting publicity, then you're doing something right. I firmly believe that social media has changed the way artists achieve success, if you own a smartphone, you have the world at your hands, you can do anything, if not now, at some point in time, someone will be influenced by you. As a young artist, it is pretty much your job amongst other things to create your buzz/ hype. You can't just sit around and wait for someone to discover you, you have to network, you have to promote yourself, make some noise, let the world know that you're here.   I don't believe in faking it until you make it; I know that a lot of people do, do this. But how can I expect people to catch what I'm pitching if I'm not going to be 100% with them from the beginning, it regards to me beliefs, my morals, my vision, my passion. It's like baking a cake with no sugar; you can taste when something is not all the way there. I handle rejection better than I used to, whether it be because I'm black or because I'm tattooed, everybody will not be on team Yves, and that's okay. It's just sad that that's even an issue, and we're living in 20


freaking 2016. I was rejected by this brand who's name I won't share they told me they loved my facial features but, I had too many tattoos on my face, and I almost said well they're permanent so have a good day, and that very brand contacted me earlier this month about doing promotional selfies for them on Instagram haha. Times are changing, and eyes are awakening, but I'm not going to stick around and wait for those who are delayed. I'm going to go work with people who want Yves for Yves. I have lots of haters and lots of confused admirers, a lot of people that hate me take the time to message me and email me letters about their hatred for me, or tags me in stuff. I'm sorry, but if you're writing me letters about your hatred for me, then you love you some Yves. I deal with a situation of someone hating on me almost every day; I share this story a lot but it's powerful, so I'm sharing it again. I once had this beautiful elderly woman spit on me, after she kindly asked to see my tattoos. She told me that I was extremely polite, and it would break her heart to see me in the flames of hell, I turned to walk away from her, and she hocked and spat on my shoulder, I took off my shirt wiped the spit threw in the trash and kept walking and didn't say a word as she was shouting. Sometimes silence is so loud it's deafening. I do believe that I have the X factor but for the sake of my name I'll call it the Y factor haha. And I think everyone is a star, everyone is a star or exceptional at something, so yeah I think I'm a star, it feels weird saying that out loud. I always believe in my potential because I think about where I came from physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and it's just hard not to believe in yourself when you've experienced hell and made it out. I go up and down whenever I think about what other people think about me, my only concern with

that is just being misrepresented, I would hate for people to believe I'm supporting something when I'm completely against it, a perfect example is a situation I had a few months ago with Twitter, where someone was using my photos to obtain nude images from underage girls, I cried every day for a week. Not for me, but because these young girls were falling victim to an imposter, it was very disheartening. This whole 'famous' thing has many pros and many cons. When Andy Warhol said in the future we will all be famous for 15 minutes, I think he was honestly predicting the future lol, we live in the digital age, fame is almost like a bowl of cereal, anyone can have it. Middle schoolers can get famous for posting truth or dare videos on a vine. Men/Women can get famous for posting daily makeup tutorials. Everyone gets 15 minutes every day almost. My advice for anyone in the next generation of artists with regards to fame and the entertainment industry is this, don't lose yourself, there's no price big enough or worth losing your respect over.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Alexismdc

“For me, fame represents a platform. With a platform on social media, you can reach more people. I was recruited to model in Milan, Italy from Instagram. That’s a perfect example of what social media can do for artists in 2016.” 22


My name is Maxime, but people call me Luckie. I'm a fashion/commercial model, blogger, aspiring life coach, personal trainer, speaker, entrepreneur, Arbonne consultant, traveler, and hitchhiker. My soul purpose in life is to inspire people to reach for their dreams, to live the life they want to live. I’m here to help people find their life purpose and pursue it. It’s cheesy, but I see myself as a gardener, I'm here to plant a seed into people’s life, and it’s up to them to keep watering it to become something majestic and beautiful. What motivates me is the world around me, my parents, my friends. I see how most people live their life, and I don’t see mine going that way. I feel like I’m holding a secret, that I know I will be successful because I firmly believe in myself. I feel like I have to scream that secret, share it with others for them to live that life, for them to have a similar mentality. I’m only 22 years old, and I’m exhausted to wait every two weeks for my pay, I don’t want to live another year like that. It’s time for a change, and it’s happening now because there isn’t a better time to start than now. Fame, represents a social status, a platform to which I can reach more people from. Fame means that I have made a name for myself, a name that people will know and respect because I will have helped people live better lives, a bigger audience to receive the message. It also means that I will have succeeded in whatever goal I have set my mind too. I believe that Fame is all about perspective, it doesn’t mean the same thing for

everyone like I explain earlier for me it represents a platform where I can reach more people and help more people. For some, it might be the stereotype, money, house, etc… It would all depend on the experience and lessons we have learned from life before getting there. But I believe in staying humble and down to earth, like Mark Zuckerberg. What would be real and what would be fake would be, would depend on your perspective if your values are at the right spot. I would use the platform to reach more people with my message, that we all have that immense power within us, that can make us realize whatever dream we have. I would use it to help show the world that money doesn’t buy happiness, but that family and a good relationship does. I honestly believe it would… in a good way, of course, I would want it to make me realize more information about happiness, I want to “make” it in life, to show people that’s it’s possible that they can be there too if they want too. I also want to remove all of my parents debt and pay for their retirement! I would just want to do more good basically. Yes, it does because it’s my ultimate goal according to my perspective. I want to make it give a fantastic life to my family and my future family. I want the name Sigouin to mean something, to make it in history. My most important short-term goal would be to become financially independent by 2017. And my long term goal would be to be in the same league as Tony Robbins and Eric Thomas. I believe it’s

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because they knew inside of them that they would be successful, that they would be famous. They knew it in they’re heart and soul that it would happen, they put it in a vision and made it happen. We’re all in this together, I like to bring others up with me. A successful person will not put others down to go up; they will bring others up. Life is hard enough has it is, why to add extra bullshit to it right ?! So yes we have to create our hype sometimes, but if help is offered to take it! Social media has changed the game. It gave us a platform to reach more people that we could have ever achieved if we went back 20-30 years ago. Imagine that artist having 10k to 100k followers on Instagram? Now imagine meeting all those people in real life? Much more work for the same reward.That’s why I think it gave us a better networking platform with the public and better opportunities. I was recruited to go model in Milan, Italy from Instagram. That’s a perfect example of what social media can do! Plus it connects us for these amazing collaboration we are having. Belief and you shall achieve. I use rejection as a source of motivation to keep pushing and get what I want! I don’t like the word, no, so I'll work until I get a yes. And I handled rejection every day in Milan for modeling, you get use to it, but it always pushes you to get better, skill-wise and body wise. I fell so hard on my ass once that I decided to put my ego aside, and my life has been incredible since then. You ego is your worst enemy, it’s ok to ask for help, it’s ok to struggle and who cares what other people think, they are not paying your bills you are, it’s your dream, your life. I haven’t any persistent haters; I've had a few negative comments but directly told them that if they don't like what I did, that they were invited to leave and not was their time and my precious time! I told them that they must have goals and that they should focus their energy on that, rather than bashing on mine. This is my life, and I’m here to reach for my dreams. If people don’t like what I do they are welcome to unfollow me, I don’t have time to waste convincing people to like me. I was put o this earth to help the people

that want to be helped! In one of the previous questions, I referred myself has a gardener, I’m planting the seed, but if you're not willing to water the plant will not grow and will, therefore, die (spiritual way). I have known from an early age that I was going to be successful! And I believe that that’s the biggest challenge people have, is believing in themselves so badly that they are willing to speak up. A lot of people care too much about others opinion, saying things like “oh that's cocky”, “that's selfish” or “you like yourself too much”. NO, it represents me believing in my capabilities to accomplish what I want to achieve, you have to learn to love yourself before you can give to others, and now I'm ready to give. Self confidence is the biggest step in achieving your goals, because it destroys all beliefs of limitations for your life. I have my doubts from time to time, but that’s why I surround myself with successful people, that support me and put me back on the right track. The best advice I can give is to stay grounded once you make it. Keep on reaching higher and higher, be grateful but never satisfied. Remember your values, family and friends. Most importantly, stay true to yourself.

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“You have the power. Make it happen when the world say it’s impossible.” 25


My name is Braylen Brooks. I’m a fashion model, TV Host, and a style blogger. My purpose is to lead people who didn't have the advantage of growing up in a household where setting goals were the status quo. I believe that one achieves fame when they’ve captivated an audience and conditioned them love or hate them. In many ways, the idea of fame is mere fantasy, but if you create an illusion that helps people including yourself, then it's a positive. It’s about impact. It’s about falling in love with your vision so that you emit that energy into the universe. I've faked it until I made it on numerous occasions and had come out with great results. My ego comes from a vulnerable place. I have to keep constantly myself motivated and aware. All the trials and tribulations I went through as a child gives me the energy to fight battles and reach for my goals. One of the best things in life is to believe in yourself even when nobody else does. Speaking reality into existence is also a key strategy. Anything on the charts, whether morally right or wrong is, good. Morality isn’t a factor that influences whether someone achieves success in the entertainment industry. It's about the topic of discussion. It’s about feeding into what humans are conditioned to do, talk. I care about others think of me. As humans, we thrive off of

validation. In high school, I was picked on and teased so much I lost hope. Many times, I skipped school because I was bothered by the opinions of others. If I knew what I know now, back then, who knows where' I'd be? Rejection is hard. In Paris, I went to nearly all of the agencies before I got signed to one. Even when I got signed, the agency was hesitant to onboard me because of the color of my skin. In essence, they told me that Paris is a nightmare market for "Blacks.” Ultimately, I refused to stop. I believe that if you don't have a story to tell your success is invalid. I have the potential and ability to invent my destiny. As a daily practice, I strengthen my mindset, so I don't forget my purpose. I am destined for greatness. Create your path. Believe that you’re worthy enough to obtain all things necessary to become whatever it is that you want to be. You have the power. Make it happen when the world says it’s impossible!

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PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Feldhut

“Fame would alter some of my habits, I'd maybe comb my hair more often, but it wouldn't transform me as a person. I like who I am.”

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My name is Luke Shelton. I'm an actor. My purpose is to give the world my gift. Contextually, when I say “gift,” I'm referring not to my talent, but to who I am as a whole person. I believe that everyone is a gift in his or her way. I'm particularly motivated when somebody tells me that I'm not capable of doing something. I think that's awesome. For me, fame means security, giving back, and having influence. Fame would alter some of my habits, I'd comb my hair more often, but it wouldn't transform me as a person. I like who I am. In the past, artists have stated that they felt famous before they were famous. It's just a mentality. It's about believing in yourself. Visualizing the success, and seeing it, before anyone else does. You have to be the first on your bandwagon if you want others on it. Fame is relative. If a person wants notoriety for doing stupid stuff and acting like a jerk, cool, more power to them. No judgment, it depends on the results you're going for. In some ways, fame is an illusion. It's important for

artists to create hype for themselves, but at some point, their talent will either sustain or silence the buzz. Social media has only transformed the way artists get noticed. Getting discovered on social media didn’t make Justin Bieber successful, the hard work he put in after he was discovered did. I believe that I deal with rejection well. If I couldn't handle rejection, the entertainment industry would eat me up. You can't please everyone. Even if I were “perfect,” someone would disapprove. I'm sure I have haters, for whatever reason. So be it. I’d rather have everyone like me, but it's unrealistic to think everyone will. I am who I am. To be honest, I used to care about what my peers thought about me. That was in middle school. But now, if I like a hat, I’m going to wear the dang hat. My advice to the next generation? Work hard, enjoy the process and believe in your potential. Why sell yourself short?

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PHOTO CREDIT: Walter Lohr, @WALTLOHR

“If I died having touched one life, I’d consider myself a success. Fame is a matter of perception. You could be iconic within one community, and joe shmo in another.” 29


My name is Alexandra Joy Heimann. I am a yoga instructor, adventurer, and lover of life. My purpose is to make a difference in peoples’ lives. I want to inspire people to believe in themselves, help them find their inner gurus, and discover how to be the happiest healthiest version of themselves. Humanness motivates me. When I come across people who are willing to be vulnerable and honest, a light sparks in the center of my heart. People who are passionate about something, who believe in real change, and are working to make the “impossible” possible inspire me. It gives me faith in our ability to make a difference, both as individuals and as a community. When I find that, I am inspired to listen to the passion inside of ME, to put my heart and soul on the line, and to believe that anything is possible and worth fighting for. For a long time, the word “fame” held a negative connotation for me, because I looked at it as something superficial. But at its core, fame just means, “to be known,” to be in a spotlight large or small. I suppose fame is all a matter of perception. You may be iconic within one community and joe shmo in another. It depends on how you define fame. If it’s based on how wide of a community you are reaching, then it is pretty tangible. If you believe fame should come with special treatment or justify living egotistically, then 100%, fame is an

illusion. I would use fame to make a difference in more people’s lives and to speak out for what I care about. I am passionate about using the movement of a means of expression and growth. I believe that we need to cut down the barriers we build between one another and start communicating from a place of truth. I think we have the capability to change the world and that the small things we do and think daily matter. Let us minimize pollution— in the environment, in our bodies, and in our minds. We are always changing. I believe everything that happens to us and every person that enters our lives, in some way, changes us. So yes, I think fame would change the way I live my life, perhaps my goals and focus. However, I know who I am at my core, and nothing can change that. I am who I am, and while I am sensitive to the world around me, I won’t change me to win any popularity contest. I’d like to believe I am rooted in my center enough to not fall victim to ego inflation. Fame has never been a motivation for me. That’s part of the reason I never seriously pursued acting. Passion has always been my primary drive. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I have an incredible amount of love for my students, colleagues, and friends. I want to do good, and as much as I’d like to touch the lives of millions, if I die having touched one life, I’ll consider myself a 30


success. Short-term, I am focused on establishing myself and my “brand”; articulating and spreading what Alex Joy Yoga is all about. Part of that is self-discovery— continuing to explore, learn, and grow. Some of it are just discipline, like shifting my writing into a blog. Long-term, I want to create something of my own, and I trust that patience and intuition will guide me in the right direction. It may sound strange, but I find that pursuing personal goals often helps me achieve professional goals. For example, challenging myself physically often opens wider circles and networks of like-minded people. So one of my goals in 2016 to go on more backpacking trips and visit new places. All publicity is not good publicity. I see the media as often trying to target celebrities for their flaws… which, hello, we all have. I wouldn’t want reporters analyzing everything I do, portraying skewed versions of reality. I believe that publicity has enormous potential to spread information about good causes, challenges communities are facing, and other issues, such as environmental disasters. To put it simply, the reporter’s intention often determines whether the publicity is good. The artist’s responsibility in the creation of hype is a tricky subject. The presence of social media has increased pressure on creatives to publicize their art actively. But it is a fine line—are artists supposed to have a second (unpaid) job in public relations? I don’t know. The reality is that it is happening. I even read an article that casting directors now use actors’ social media following as a determining factor when casting films, reasoning that actors with bigger followings will create more hype for their projects for free. To me, that’s not right, but from the producers’ perspective, it saves money. Social media seems to have changed the way artists are achieving success. It seems

like artists, whether good or bad, who garner a lot of popularity on social media have an advantage in their respective industries. Faking it until you make it is only beneficial if what you are faking is something positive. The messages that we repeat over and over matter. Henry David Thoreau said, “A single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.” I think this is extremely relevant when we are talking about the way we see ourselves, because what we believe shines outward. If you're feeling insecure, don’t just present confidence, but tell yourself that you are worthy, that you are strong, that you are confident. As creatives, we will inevitably have days that we feel like crap about ourselves… but we still have to get up, get out, and do our art. It is a matter of believing in yourself when you feel less than and reminding yourself of what you have to be grateful. Rejection is inevitable, especially as an artist or creative. My faith in the universe helps me let go of attachment to the people and things I want. While I don’t believe there’s some grand scheme for our lives, I do believe that where one door closes, another opens. Often, when I face rejection but keep my chin up, the world throws me a curveball that turns out to be even better that what rejected me. I also take responsibility for the way I process rejection so that self-doubt and others’ perceptions don’t get me down. I once auditioned for a studio on a day that I was incredibly tired. While what I taught was decent, my energy was low and disconnected. This became the first studio that didn’t hire me, which brought up a lot of self-doubt for me as a teacher. However, rather than stewing in

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doubt, I reassured myself that it wasn’t the right match at the right time. After the emotion settled, I also looked at the audition objectively—was there anything I could learn from this for next time? If I couldn’t identify anything, I would’ve moved on, but I remembered feeling unexpressive and disconnected to what I was saying, which comes across to yogis. So I made a mental note, and my energy was present and warm the next time I had a demonstration for a studio when I was tired. That studio ended up offering me a job on the spot and turned out to be an incredible fit. My ego is probably more moderate than most people you find on the street. Ego is like food—we need it to function, but too much of anything is asking for trouble. Ego is what provides me with a drive to get out of bed in the morning, take a shower, negotiate reasonable pay at jobs, turn down dates I’m uninterested in, etc. Without it, I’d be eaten alive in this world. I think of as self-respect. However, just as I have a mindfulness practice to prevent rejection from getting me down, I also stay mindful of how I react to successes to keep them from going to my head. It all comes down to knowing who I am at my core and continually coming back to it. I think that jealousy and judgment come quickly to most people. I also KNOW insecurity comes immediately to everyone. Hate is a strong word, but I think that people who let their insecurities and jealousy get the better of them tend to cut others down, especially those whom they envy or disagree with. With fame comes exposure to a bigger community, so there are more potential haters, but also more potential supporters. I haven’t dealt with haters, but I’ve dealt with my share of negativity. It’s taken me a long time to get to a place where I can say this truthfully, and it may make me sound like a total hippie, but I

always try to return the love. It sometimes means smiling at someone, thinking a thought of compassion to someone who is in a negative place, or offering a kind word. When I respond to negativity with negativity, I end up feeling even worse about myself, so love is a win-win. Sometimes the smallest act of love can soften someone’s negativity. When it comes to social media, I usually just ignore negative comments, because I don’t believe they deserve energy. Human nature dictates that we crave connection and love, so I think it is ridiculous for anyone to say that they don’t care what others think. However, I see too many people seeking external validation that they aren’t giving themselves; they are trying to fit in rather than accepting themselves. I’ll be honest—I’ve never quite fit into the norm, and when I’ve attempted to be “normal” or criticized myself for being different, I’ve ended up feeling untrue to myself. While I, of course, want to be loved, if it isn’t for the quirky yet philosophical weirdo that I am, then it doesn't fill my cup. By embracing my uniqueness and loving aspects I once felt were flawed, I’ve received a lot more love in my life that is authentic. I care about what people I love to think of me, and I will always take their feedback into consideration. However, I’m not looking to win any popularity contests. I’d rather have love from a few than “likes” from a million. I do believe that I have the “X” factor. In fact, I think almost anyone who cultivates a passion for something has the potential to be famous. I am not a star by any means, but I believe that I’ll be in the spotlight, small or large, at several points in my life. That may just be a featured class I teach somewhere, but who knows what the future holds. I am not driven by a thirst for stardom, but rather by my passion for helping others and spreading goodness. I believe in my potential, but I doubt

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my ability to make it a reality sometimes. I think that 99% of people, no matter how talented or privileged they are, still have to be incredibly dedicated and hard to work to be successful. I always remember Dustin Hoffman’s story of waiting tables for well over a decade before landing a role as actor—that’s the kind of perseverance we should all have if we want something. Stay right to your core. Take time to find yourself away from the influence of anyone in your life or the media. Meditate, spend time in nature, dance by yourself, write, create without expectation…. whatever makes you feel alive, do it. Stay humble and grounded! Check yourself every step of the way—ask yourself, “Why am I doing this, and am I doing good for myself and others?” Fame gives you the facilities to impact the world—present and future positively, so make sure your heart is in it for the right reasons. Oh, and one more thing: No matter what anyone tells you, remember that you are enough.

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GOLDEN TICKET WINNER

“I actually believe that my purpose in life is to use the gifts that I’ve been endowed with, to serve others. Whatever platform I choose, I try always to take the time to encourage others or lend a hand in the best way possible.”

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My name is Al Copeland. I am an entertainer who incorporates music, art, fashion and motivational speaking to inspire others to catch their dreams and live in their purpose. My first love is music, and my first gift is my voice. I actually believe that my purpose in life is to use the gifts that I’ve been endowed with to serve others. Whatever platform I choose, I try always to take the time to encourage others or lend a hand in the best way possible. Sometimes it’s an encouraging post on social media, other times it’s volunteering at a community center or connecting people with another that can help with something that I may not be able to. My motivation is rooted in love, music, and the arts. I find inspiration in the simplest and most beautiful things and people. Seeing others accomplish their goals and aspirations also fuels me when I become weary at times. Being a creative person can sometimes be quite taxing because art is a vulnerable expression of the soul. While you must give your passion your all, there must be a balance. On the surface, the word fame brings the term world-renowned to mind. It is also often associated with money, influence, and power. But on a deeper level fame also represents responsibility to me. When one becomes famous, they are in the public eye at all times, even behind closed doors. People are easily

influenced by public figures. From the latest fashion trend to how celebrities handle moral dilemmas, their audience is taking cues. Fame is partially an illusion and partly real. It is based on how much of the individual’s true identity is displayed publicly. When we perform we wear the makeup, the trendy clothes; we put on the public persona and put our best face forward. We have filters and the smoke and mirrors to hide behind. But ultimately when there are no lights, cameras, and the action is over or when we think no one is watching that’s when the real person emerges. There is enormous pressure always to be perfect or to look good and to never have any problems. But that just isn’t reality. Since fame brings responsibility, I hope to be able to influence people in a positive way. I would love to be able to inspire others to live and create a life that they love. As I progress in life, I am still the same person I have always been. Since releasing my debut album, Love Story in September I have become more known in my current location and have even been fortunate enough to have reached people internationally. But I don’t think fame would change me because one of my mantras is to remain true to who I am, all the while continuing to evolve and improve in the areas in which I have room for growth. There is a saying that is floating around social media that says, “Fame just 35


makes a person more of who they already are.” I’m not sure who the author is, but it rings true to me. I’d be lying if I said that I don’t care about fame. As a little girl, I used to sing solos in church, performed in talent shows and school plays reaching for the spotlight. I dreamed of one day traveling the world and playing for thousands of people who knew and loved my music. But fame isn’t the principal motivating force behind my passion and neither does it motivate me to hustle harder. On September 15, 2015, I released my debut EP Love Story, and that was huge for me. I started this particular project in 2003, but if you want to get technical, I began recording in 1995. (Yikes, I’m dating myself here.) LOL So my short-term goal now is to continue to promote the album and expand my reach. The long-term goal is to go on tour and continue to put great music out into the world. I am also working towards a business degree and furthering my acting and modeling career. The fruition of our dreams lies in the energy that we put into the universe. We can defeat ourselves so quickly with self-doubt and fear. This was a tremendous obstacle for me through the many years that I procrastinated in putting out Love Story. I’d always blame it on life happening or lack of money or some superficial reason as to why I couldn’t or didn’t do it. Every year I would promise myself that I was going to record at least one song. But the real reasons were self-doubt and fear. But I wasn’t happy holding all of that music inside of me. I was so worried that I didn’t sound like this artist or that artist. I was afraid that people would laugh at me or that they wouldn’t like my music. But then finally, in December of 2014, I said it’s now or never. I was still afraid, but I did it for me, regardless of all the reasons and the lies that I had been telling myself. Did I still have self-doubt? Yes, but the more I

surrendered to my passion the less I started to doubt myself. In life, there are those who go after what they want and others that wait for someone else to give it to them. I am the former. When I started recording my album I opened an account for all of the major social media sites and began to promote the project and other ventures that I became involved in. I hired a website designer and got my website up. Soon others began to share my content and helped to create a buzz. Ultimately it is the artist’s responsibility to create their hype because it’s their dream. As an unsigned artist, this is extremely crucial because there is no big label backing you with resources to promote you. You’ve got to be your cheerleader at times when you can’t see those who are cheering for you. Social media has become one of the primary vehicles for many artists’ successes. It’s the greatest marketing tool and it doesn’t require a huge budget. Artist’s can interact directly with their audience at any moment and use multiple platforms to increase their fan base. A simple repost can garner greater exposure. As we can see in the case of several celebrities like Bill Cosby, all publicity is not good publicity. Regardless of the validity of the allegations made and charges brought against him, Cosby’s integrity has been called into question. Now one of the most highly esteemed shows to ever be broadcast on television has been pulled. With fame comes responsibility but we are humans and thus fallible. There is a certain level of expectation that comes with the territory of fame. You’re expected to look and act the part. But I don’t believe you have to be fake. I think in being true to self. I also think that there is a platform out there for everyone so that you can make it. There is not one celebrity that appeals to every individual on the planet. It’s all about knowing and creating for your followers. People

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appreciate authenticity and connect better with people they can relate to. (Deep sigh) Rejection is a touchy subject for me, but I don’t mind being transparent. Loved ones in my life have rejected me. For a long time, it was an unbearable challenge which negatively affected my self-esteem and relationships. It would take me to a dark place of self-loathing because I used to internalize everything. But I learned that NO now means YES to something better later. I also learned that what I thought was rejection was sometimes a manifestation of other’s issues, and I know that I don’t have to carry anyone else’s baggage. The ego is a powerful thing. When most people think of ego, they think of someone that is narcissistic and self-deluded. The ego often gets a bad rap, but it’s not always a bad thing. I think the key is to have a healthy ego strength. It’s a delicate balance, which I still have yet to master. Admittedly, my ego sometimes gets the best of me when I forget that I don’t have to respond to everything that upsets me. But sometimes my ego helps me to stand up for myself when the occasion necessitates it, and I think that’s a good thing. I’ve never been one to subscribe to the concept of haters and for that matter never thought or knew I had any until last year when I released my debut, EP Love Story. An anonymous “hater” on Facebook reported a sponsored ad for my EP release party that one of my friends posted on their page the week of the event. The post was removed, but it was no longer circulated on Facebook. I was furious when my friend told me. Unfortunately, anyone can report a post and enjoy the privilege of anonymity regardless if the report is valid or not. So I couldn’t do much about it, but thankfully the release was sold out with standing room only. For the most part, I stopped caring what others thought about me. No matter what you do or say, there’s always

someone that may have some criticism regarding how you live your life. In the past I allowed what I feared other people thought about me, to stop me from catching my dreams. As humans, we are pleasure-seeking beings and as such we will do anything and everything to avoid pain. For some, the thought of people’s disappointment or disapproval is debilitating. People pleasing leads to misery and disease. I’m so glad that I got over that fear. One over-arching theme in my life is true to self and by not going for what I desired I wasn’t honoring myself. But once I got over myself, my dream came true, and I’m happier because of it. I believe that I am a star in my right. It is only a matter of time before my music and art become known to the world. As I continue to work diligently, my dreams will come to fruition. Forget the entertainment industry. It’s all changing so rapidly from the traditional industry as we’ve come to know it. Carve your path. Put your intentions out there into the Universe and follow it with continuous action. Be ok with failing and know that you will succeed if you persevere. Don’t wait for money, the right people, or the right time. The only right time is NOW. Do what you can, when and how you can and trust that the rest will fall into place. Epic things have small beginnings. If you’re afraid, do it afraid anyway. Stay surrounded by people that help to keep you grounded in positivity and are healthy for you. Most importantly be true to yourself, ALWAYS.

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“My purpose in life is to empower women across the country, hell, across the world, to embody their most confident self. If you don’t hold high standards for yourself, how can you achieve your highest potential?”

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My Name Is Andrew James Gabler; I am the owner and head designer for Nouveau Riche Collection. We're a Los Angeles-based women’s ready to wear fashion collection. My purpose in life if to empower women across the country, hell, across the world to embody their most confident self. What I find most motivating on a day-to-day basis is the world around me, I am blessed to be able to live and work in one of the most multicultural cities in America. Being in Los Angeles is a constant motivation for me always to strive to be bigger and better than yesterday. There is always something new and inspiring to do here in the city, so inspiration becomes my motivation. Fame means to me what Ketchup means to fries, without fame in my industry we would be extremely salty and bland. Fame is what keeps trends fresh, what keeps people guessing, and most importantly Fame is all about what those on the Red Carpet are wearing. Fame means business. Some designers are famous in their right like Lagerfeld,  LaCroix, & Varvatos. Obviously, one day Nouveau Riche will be on that level, however, artists usually only become famous when they die, so we have a while yet. Fame is a double-edged sword more than an illusion; anyone these days can have fame as long as you can pay for the right publicist. And no shade to that what so ever hell… I support it. But on that same note, those with the dough shouldn’t always have the limelight. What’s real about fame is the power that is given to you by the press, your fans, social media, and the public. What you do with that power is up to you to decide. I would do with fame what Paris Hilton did: create an empire. I think that fame changes everyone; I just hope it would change me for the

better. Those who let it go to their head, seem to end up on the blacklist at the drop of a needle. Fame would naturally improve my game, but only because I could hire staff to cover all aspects of my life and expense it to the IRS. However, I am not necessarily willing to put my dreams, hopes, and goals into someone else’s hand at this point in my life. I am nowhere near retirement. My greatest short-term goal is to have a glass of wine at lunch, and my most significant long-term goal is to get through this week. This may seem short term to most people but its LA Fashion Market this week so cut me a break. I think that being appreciated for your art is similar to the feeling of being famous,  people come to see you for what you can give to the creative world. That is a feeling unlike any other in which I have experienced in life. To have a following of people that truly appreciate you for being you and giving them life through your creative outlets is the original high. Not only is this true it is a proven fact. Hello, Amanda Bynes, who has thought about her since 1998?. I believe in a 24/7 365 kind of work ethic, I’m always out there creating hype for my product whether that be chatting up someone at an event, someone seating next to me on the plane, or with BeBe Rexha after a concert.  Without the creators belief in their creation, what do you have? I think that social media has empowered the artist in all of us: Instagram blows my mind. Like literally OBSESSED. The beauty that people find in the world and can share with everyone worldwide is almost sensory overload, but I can't stop scrolling. Fake isn’t my thing, just put enough out into the universe and that’s what you will get back in return… And remember Karma is a Bitch. As

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someone who creates clothing for women, I constantly have to be looking through the eye of my consumer. Who is she, what does she do, where is she going, how do I capture her essence? But you see, not everyone knows this girl, not everyone is this girl. And when my collections go to market around the country, my art, my soul is in these clothes. It's hard sometimes when you want to be loved by every woman out there, you aspire to be in their closets, and yet you cannot because not everyone can wear Nouveau Riche. Do you remember Bratz Dolls? Yeah, neither does anyone else. No one likes a big headed person and clearly don’t like big headed dolls either, as Barbie is still HBIC in Dollyworld she keeps it real. Haters come with the territory of being a human. Let them hate; it only makes you more famous. I don’t give them the time of day; I am running a real business here, not a ‘lets play pretend’ agency and snapping Starbucks pictures with my interns. Reputation is everything; I would never do anything to put mine in jeopardy. But there comes a time in life when you learn how to turn your filter on in certain situations. It's not so much about caring what they think about you; just some people don’t need to know all about me. I am a unique person, if I were concerned with others thoughts about me, I would be living in a dark cave. If you don’t hold high standards for yourself how will would you ever achieve your highest potential? When I walk into a room I command it, I like always to be the best version of myself whether that be working in our design house, or walking my dog in Griffith Park, let's be real you can't go on a real LA hike if you’re not in full glam. Live your life with no regrets. I moved to Los Angeles 9 years ago without knowing a single person I hadn’t ever traveled here; I Just knew that if I were to accomplish my dreams, I needed to take that risk. That’s what life is all about at the end of the day, taking risks. Would Versace be Versace if they didn’t take a chance on bold prints or high slit maxis NO they wouldn’t.  You just need to focus on making yourself happy because you’re all you’ve got boo so just do you.

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“After performing with Snoop Dogg at the Billboard Music Awards as a soloist, he posted a picture of us on Instagram. The haters and confused admires let the the comments flow. It was interesting to read. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but their words do not define me.� 41


My name is Candyce Heather. I am a professional dancer as well as a health and fitness expert. My purpose in life is to inspire others live a life they love and live it powerfully. I am motivated daily by persevering through the incurable hereditary disease I was born with, Sickle Cell Fame means to me you’ve done something extremely extraordinary for the masses to acknowledge you. I believe fame is created, it does not exist in reality as a tangible object. It exists in the mind. One could call that an illusion. The acknowledgment of others for extraordinary acts makes fame real. What isn’t true about fame is the idea that fame doesn’t come with challenges, obstacles, or negativity. I would use fame to bring awareness to sickle cell disease and create international funding and programs to support individuals living with sickle cell disease. Fame would change me by making me push harder to make connections to bring awareness to sickle cell and make a difference for the sickle cell community. Obtaining fame

does motivate me to hustle harder. My most important goal is to open wellness centers in the US and internationally that will provide a place of empowerment for people to transform their lives. To say you feel famous before your already famous would mean that was a way of being that they already created. Be Do Have they had to be famous mentally so they could take actions in line with being famous and have the fame they had attracted to their lives. I think all publicity is good publicity. As an artist or anyone wanting to be famous you are your brand, so you need to create your hype. Social media has enormously changed the way artists achieve success. It has allowed artists to connect to fans worldwide at the push of button.. ”Fake it till you make it" is a common saying in the dance world and yes I believe in it and certainly have at auditions .I’ve learned to handle rejection by dealing with what's so. By adding meaning to rejection, you can drive yourself crazy. I went on a two-day long audition with a 42


world renowned choreographer for a movie role I wanted and was praised for my performance at the audition only never to hear from the producers again. Weeks later I run into dancers that did book the movie, and I almost let rejection slip in. Shortly after I found out, those same dancers had given up many other opportunities to move and film this movie and during rehearsals were given the news the project was no longer going to happen. My outlook on rejection is that it’s not rejection. However, it is simply not the opportunity for me and time always make that clear. My ego shows up in my work when I'm giving clients effective ways to do an exercise, and my coaching goes in one ear and out the other. My ego gets a little bruised, and then I choose to let go and shift the focus off me and on to my client. This allows me to let my client go through their process, and I give up the right to be right. Haters come with fame. I’ve had haters in the past and confused admirers. After performing with Snoop Dogg for the Billboard music awards as a soloist, he posted a picture of us to his Instagram and the haters and confused admires let the comments flow. It was interesting to read and I just summed it up to everyone is entitled to their opinion. Their words do not define me. To a certain extent, I do care what others think about me. Mainly my health and fitness clients because I like to create a space that is

welcoming and positive for them to be vulnerable enough to allow themselves to go on a journey of transformation. That requires me to be a clearing for them and how I’m being mattered so that intention gets fulfilled. I believe I have the X factor, and I can be a star. However, belief can only get you so far. Daily belief backed by action produces results. Believing you can when it looks like you can’t, believing when no one else will, and believing in yourself when you're faced with challenges is when it matters most. I believe Andy Warhol meant that we all will have our time to shine. Now if we make that 15 minutes of fame positive or negative is our choosing. My advice for the next generation of artist and the entertainment industry is to stay true to yourself. Honor your word and your commitment to what you’re up to in life and in doing so the fame will be a result.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Golden Eye Photography

“They’re so many young girls who aren’t aware of their worth, who struggle with eating disorders or who have been treated disrespectfully by guys. I want to be a voice that encourages them. I want to empower them. I want to remind them that they matter.”

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My name is Dannie Marie. I’m a pop country singer/songwriter. I believe that my overall purpose in life is to glorify God in all that I do. More specially, I believe my purpose is to express God’s love to people through my country music. I am not a “Christian artist,” but I know that God can use any genre to speak to people. My hope and prayer is that He uses my music to touch people’s hearts and reveal to them how much they are truly loved and valued and pursued by God. Ever since I was little, I’ve had the same vision for my life, the same burning passion for performing and making music. That same vision that I had when I was eight years old putting on shows in my family room is the same motivation that gets me up at 7 AM to call radio stations to promote my songs. When a vision and passion stays consistent for over a decade, it has the power to keep you going through the ups and downs of life (and the industry). As many know, the rejection in the entertainment industry can be brutal. Another thing that has kept me motivated is Psalm 37:4: “Delight yourself in The Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” When the rejection and the problems of everyday life start to weigh on me, I think of God’s promise to me in this verse. Knowing that God will bring me the desires of my heart regardless of what my immediate circumstances look like has kept me going. I think Fame is simply the fact that there are thousands (and sometimes millions) of people that know who you are. If you’re famous, chances are, a lot of

people love you but also a lot of people dislike you! I think nowadays, fame often has a negative connotation. But when used in the right way, fame can be a fantastic tool that is used to encourage, bless, and influence thousands of people for the better. I believe that fame itself is a very real thing. Now there are a lot of people (in my opinion) that are famous for the wrong reasons, and some people might refer to that as fake fame. Fame is a funny, it can feel a lot like that story we read as children, The Emperor’s New Clothes. In that story, there are two con artists who “make” the king a beautiful wardrobe out of the finest materials — which are invisible to fools — to wear in the royal parade. In reality, the con artists give him an invisible (non-existent) wardrobe and take the king’s money. When the king is riding in the chariot in his parade, everyone is exclaiming about his amazing wardrobe, when in reality he is naked. Everyone in his inner circle was afraid to tell him the truth. Sometimes fame can be about following a trend, or feeling the need to idolize something that is popular. Fame has always been a dream of mine if I'm honest. I’ve always the loved the idea of being able to influence large groups of people in a positive way. I know that there are so many hurting people in this world, especially young girls who don’t are aware of their worth, who struggle with eating disorders, who have been abused, who have been treated disrespectfully by guys. I want to be a voice that encourages them and reminds them of how much

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they do matter here on this earth. Coming from a broken family, growing up under the criticism of the entertainment industry, and having experienced negative relationships, I have been brought out on the other side of these obstacles stronger. Don't get me wrong, I have gone through my share of struggle and heartache, and still struggle with different things on the daily. But I want to share what I’ve learned and encourage as many girls as I possibly can. I think that being famous would be tough. For every fan that loves you, there’s a hater who’s not afraid to let you know. I think our society is way too harsh on ‘famous’ people with all the tabloids and articles you see. Everyone makes mistakes — but not everyone’s mistakes are broadcast on TV or published on a magazine cover. I pray that fame wouldn’t change me! And if it started to, I’ve got a mom who is not afraid to call me out! haha. She doesn’t let me get away with anything. Attaining fame and wealth motivates me to hustle harder. But with that needs to come to some balance. I’ve learned that it is important to be content and grateful for exactly where you are in life. Fame, wealth, and success are not guaranteed to anyone. If you become consumed with attaining those things, your tunnel vision can cause you to forget what’s truly important in life. After working hard in the entertainment industry for many years, I’ve learned that you can book a tour one day, and be dropped from your label the next, so it’s critical that you’re anchored in something a lot deeper than temporary success and satisfaction. For me — God, my family, my best friends and my guitar are things that bring me joy no matter what. My most important short term goal is to have the best live show set I can have. My little brother plays guitar for me, and we just added a banjo to the mix! We’ve re-worked our set so that sometimes, I’m on guitar and bro is on banjo. I want to continue to polish our set to the point that if Florida Georgia Line asked us to go on tour with them tomorrow, we’d be ready. My most important long-term goals are to be on a successful headlining tour and to have a number

one single on country radio. My team and I are currently working toward both of those goals. Although we still have a long way to go, my brother and I just opened for one of the Midwest’s hottest country bands (Carter Winter), and my single Anything I Wanna Be is currently on the Music Row Chart. I believe it’s possible to feel famous before you are. Some people are just born with that “it factor” — that thing that draws others to them. A lot of people have worked hard to attain their fame. I believe that many of those who have worked hard (not the people who have achieved overnight success because of reality TV) felt famous before they were because they BELIEVED that they would be all along. I am a strong believer that not all publicity is good publicity. What do you stand for? What core values are important to you? I believe publicity is only good when it aligns with the image you want to portray, and coincides with who you truly are. I respect people who keep being true to themselves and exemplify self-respect and worth, instead of doing things out of character to get attention and publicity. These days, we artists live in a DIY industry. Record labels and the music industry aren’t what they used to be. It’s our job to be our record label, promoter, booker, producer, stylist, web designer and whatever else we need to be until the real members of our “team” come along. One of my mentors, Bobby Borg (who is a musician, author, and teacher) says to “light as many small fires as you can until people see the smoke and take notice.” I’m very lucky to have my mom; she is my manager and helps me create all of my smoke! But in today’s music industry, our success and creating our hype is our responsibility. Social media has drastically changed the way we artists achieve success. We now have the capability to reach and affect thousands of people from our platforms. We essentially have access to the entire world without being represented by a record label or promoter. Social media has given us the opportunity to reach people and achieve success essentially through an app. It’s wild. Instead of “fake it until you make 46


it,” I like to follow the advice of my high school show choir teacher Mrs. Gerner, who taught us that “If you want to become, you must act as if.” I think that it’s critical to study your craft and work hard at what you do. You can’t fake talent. But there have been times where I’ve taken things to the next level to achieve things that I wouldn’t appear to be able to achieve on my own. For example, since I’m not signed to a major record label, we created our indie label — Highway 8 Records. I don’t believe in lying or faking it, but I do believe in taking the extra step when necessary (even if you don’t feel qualified). Rejection is the norm in the entertainment industry. Depending on what type of rejection it is, I handle it differently. When I was pursuing my acting career in LA, there was one specific day where I had gone on several auditions and received verbal rejection at all of them. One casting director told me I needed to lose 10 pounds. Another one said I didn’t have the ‘right look’ and another said I just wasn't reading right. Hearing all those things in one day walloped me. I remember going home to my little LA apartment. I sat on a stool in my bathroom; I looked at myself in the mirror, and I wrote my song Anything I Wanna Be. At first, I was writing out of anger, frustration and discouragement. But as I continued writing, I thought “No, I want this song to be an anthem of Encouragement.” Whether you are a runway model or the average woman in line at the grocery store looking at a magazine cover, we often feel like we can never be pretty enough or skinny enough according to the standards portrayed by Hollywood and the entertainment industry. While Hollywood is telling us to conform to their idea of beauty and success, I say you are free to be “anything you wanna be.” You are beautiful, talented, essential to this world, and God has an incredible plan for your life. Writing Anything I Wanna Be was how I chose to handle my rejection that specific day, and now that single is on country radio stations all over America and a few stations in Canada and the UK. More importantly, I hope this song is inspiring young people everywhere to

follow their dreams and be true to themselves regardless of what their critics say. When looking at people who work in the entertainment industry, I think that egos are often unbalanced. From my personal experience, I’ve observed that many people either have an unhealthy view of themselves (low self-esteem because of all the rejection they receive from the industry), or they have a massive ego. I think there are a few reasons for having an enormous ego — either you are the coolest thing ever because you are (currently) a series regular on a major network series, or you are so insecure that you have to ACT like you’re superior in hopes of making other people feel less important. Of course, I met many wonderful people while living in Hollywood; I met two of my very best friends while working in the industry. I hope I don’t have an ego; it’s personally such a turn-off. When I meet people, I want to build them up and make them feel comfortable and loved around me. I would never want to make anyone feel insecure because I put off vibes that I am a “somebody.” Everyone is on a level playing field. I hope that we all respect each other and treat each other that way. If I'm honest, I most definitely care about what others think of me. I think that it is a right thing when other people’s opinions matter to you, but I also believe it needs to be balanced. I try to keep a soft heart for those I trust so when they approach me about something that they think I'm doing wrong, I can listen instead of defending my side. I want to be someone with integrity and good character, and when others question that, it takes a toll on me. One time, one of my good friends confronted me because she felt that my wardrobe choices had become more revealing based on what she had seen on my social media. She is a good friend whose opinion I value and trust, and so her comments affected me. My goal is to be a role model, so it honestly shook me up. I obsessed about it for days, looking at all my social media pictures trying to figure out which ones might be inappropriate. All in all, I think she and I have a different idea of what’s appropriate and what isn’t. 47


But when someone I respect calls me out, it affects me. I am grateful for good friends like her who are not afraid to hurt my feelings and want to hold me accountable. I believe that the “X Factor” is simply having that spark and love for life that other people can see and are drawn to. You can tell by having a conversation with someone if they have the X Factor or not. I don’t believe it necessarily has to do with “performing.” People that I know that have the X Factor are people who love life, love other people, and make you feel good when you’re with them. They can light up a room with their smile because of the joy that they have — not because of their “title.” They just have a little extra spark of light that sets them apart in this dark world. I surely hope I’m someone that possesses the X Factor. I think the key ingredient to “making it” in this industry is believing in yourself — because sometimes, that’s all you’ll have. On your way to the top, there will be so many people who will cut you down and say that you don’t have what it takes to make it. Believing in myself and God’s plan for me has gotten me through the tough times of criticism and has encouraged me to keep going. After attending hundreds of music business and acting seminars, the main thing I’ve learned is that success comes to the ones who don’t give up. Stay in the game. Go a little further. Believe in yourself. In the words of Walt Disney, “It’s fun doing the impossible.” My advice to the next generation of artists pursuing fame and success: Always remember who you are, and always be true to yourself. I know that might sound cliche, but there will be many factors against you, trying to change you to conform to someone else’s vision or image. At the end of the day, you are the only you, and you have an irreplaceable role to play on this planet. When you are by yourself at the end of the day — once your agent has stopped calling, and you’re not on set or stage, and everything is quiet — you have to be happy with yourself and the choices you are making. Never take an opportunity (that you don’t feel good about) because you think it might lead to something else. Only use opportunities that get

you excited and align with your vision for your life. Surround yourself with good people who will lift you up and be that support for other people, too. When people make you promises in the industry (even business professionals), they won’t always keep them. So never do anything that you feel is compromising because of a ‘promise’ someone has made to you. I guarantee you that there is a path for your life that includes success and joy and love and victory that will never once require you to compromise yourself. You might think you see a short cut, but the longer and more consistent hard work you put in to get to the top, the longer you’ll stay at the top. Love every part of yourself (even your muffin tops). Loving yourself will not only make you truly happy but others too. Do what you LOVE. Don’t forget why you’re here and doing what you’re doing. Always be grateful for every opportunity, never take a single show for granted. And lastly, remember that (like Cinderella), just one shoe can change your life. I know this industry can be brutal and discouraging, but keep pushing through and work your butt off. Because it only takes one opportunity to give you that break and change your life forever. Get ready. Be prepared.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Marco Sari, MUA - @jpmakeupart

“Fame to me is like a rainbow; chasing it is pointless because very few arrive at this elusive pot of gold. It's kind of this glittery porthole to another universe. We all think we know what it is, and act like we've been there, but it's really a desolate mirage of limelight billboards, and overly processed art duplicated and pinned on the faces of different people.” 49


My name is Indigenous Destiny. I'm known as a music artist, designer, Youtuber, and more recently budding humanitarian. My purpose in life is to use my gifts to gain influence and emulate knowledge, wisdom and self-confidence through that influence. I would say my motivation is just the life that I've lived. The wounds and hurdles I've overcome could've been avoided, or executed better if I would've had the knowledge and help I needed to thrive. Fame to me is like a rainbow; chasing it is pointless and very few arrive at this elusive pot of gold. It's kind of this glittery porthole to another universe that we all think we know what it is, and act like we've been there, but it's a desolate mirage of limelight billboards, and overly processed art duplicated and pinned on the face of different people. At least, that's all most people allow it to be once they attain it. I feel there is so much more you can do if this pot of gold is gained. So many issues in the world would be resolved if those with the platform used it for something other than just displaying themselves. I feel like fame would change me because it works as a magnifying glass to the world. Whatever you are, or pretending to be is magnified; flaws and all. It would make me more of a lunatic than I already am when it comes to wanting to make positive changes in the world, as well as my desperate attempt at being a workaholic. Fame

does not motivate me to do anything. My need to help people is the fuel to work ethic, which is my vehicle to success--and that makes me want to help more people. I think artists who have always felt famous knew their talent and work ethic generated a can-do attitude without needing the approval of anyone else. That's an interpretation on fame that is encouraging. The vast majority of famous people rely only on right or bad publicity to get their name out there. If your only goal in life is to become famous than any publicity will do. I have a strong belief that you have to portray the kind of artist you want to be until you arrive at your destination. As long as you're portraying something along the lines of your brand and your vision, I respect that. Now, social media has been the best tool for artists like myself that have a strong sense of what they want to accomplish. I love that I can be my creative director, editor, publicist, and marketing team. It keeps my vision true to what I want. As far as rejection, I've conned my way out of feeling rejection to a certain extent. When I was younger rejection would devastate me. Any audition, submission or criticism destroyed me. The rejection was a regular, everyday thing. Now I realize the people that are drawn to what I'm doing and want to work with and support me are my tribe. They are the ones I cater to; those that were like me. Everyone and 50


everything else isn't meant for the artist I am, and I take pride in that. I don't think I have a big ego because those who have them assume everyone should be in awe over everything they create, and that's just not realistic. I'm confident in the talents I have (knowing there’s still work to be done) and understand there's an audience, no matter how big or small, that will be interested in what I do. Along with those that like what I do, there comes those that hate what I do, or hate who I am. I had a situation with a guy that wanted to work with me on an instrumental I had already written to for my mixtape. First of all, he wanted me only to do one verse, and he would do two. Secondly, he wanted me to rap like Nikki Minaj and rap about something sexy. I stopped responding to his emails and dropped my original version of the song. He proceeded to write multiple comments on SoundCloud about how he would've done the song better and so on. These situations are confirmation that I'm doing something right. Someone cared enough and was so bothered about what I was doing, that they proceeded to tell everyone they know. It's so amusing to me that someone could be that affected by what I do. The more you climb the ladder of success, the more you become an obvious target to anyone with breath in their lungs to complain. An enormous part of being an artist is learning to love yourself and staying true to that. It took me years to not care about the opinions of others, but the liberation you receive feels better than being liked by everybody. When Andy Warhol said that in the future everyone will be famous for 15 minutes, I think it unveils where we'll be as a culture. So many individuals will be so deprived of love and genuine self-esteem, they'll resort to exploiting themselves for a false sense of attention. An illusion of fame where the criteria are held by a

few money hungry individuals. For this reason, I don’t worry about having the “X factor” that validates someone for fame. That “X factor” is another elusive thing that no one can describe. I believe if I continue to stay true to who I am, I’ve created my X factor in a way; or have deeply cultivated something innate that was bestowed upon me. If you aspire to be an artist, the best thing you can do is to be true to who you are. So what if someone thinks you’re too short, tall, big, little, eclectic, androgynous, simple, neurotic, analytical-whatever it may be! You have a voice, and you have people you’re supposed to reach that see life through the same scope that you do. They walk through life with the same mindset as you do; they dress similar to you, they communicate life the way you do. Make who you are the neon beacon that draws out all the precious weirdos that are just like you. That’s when you’ll be the happiest with the success you have.

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“Fame wouldn't change me. My foundation is Jesus Christ. I’m not concerned with getting others approval. I want His approval.” 52


My name is Jeannette Grout. I’m a actor, singer, writer, and a hopeful producer. There is absolutely no way for me to talk about my purpose in life without talking about Jesus because it’s all about Him. I live to know Him, love Him, glorify Him, and share Him with others. Our life on earth is so very short. You’re not guaranteed tomorrow. You’re not guaranteed your next breath. Remembering this motivates me because I don’t want to waste my life; I want to live a purpose-filled life and accomplish all I was created to do. I used to desire fame. The media sure makes it look fun. I’m very thankful to now see that the pursuit of fame is an absolute waste of life. Fame is incredibly fleeting. Here today, gone tomorrow. We see this never-ending cycle all the time as a celebrity who is everyone’s obsession one week is replaced by yet another the next week. One good thing about fame is that you have more of a platform, for however briefly, that you can use to reach people. If in the process of chasing after my purpose I acquired fame, I would love to get to use it to point the spotlight to Jesus, Who alone deserves the glory. However, fame does not motivate me, fulfilling my purpose does. My most important short-term goal is producing a sitcom which, if you asked me a couple of years ago, is a sentence I would never say. However, earlier this year I realized that writing and producing my work is something I felt called to do, but kept pushing the idea away because I was afraid. My most important long-term goal is glorifying God in absolutely everything I do and loving Him even more and knowing Him even better. This is conveniently also my shortterm, weekly, daily, and hourly goal. I know that fame would not change me. My foundation is Jesus Christ. I’m not concerned with getting others’ approval. I want His approval. I wouldn’t be concerned with clinging on to my fame because I don’t need it to begin with. It is not fame that motivates me at all; it is the need to

accomplish all I can in the season of life I’m in. I have heard before that all publicity is good publicity. I think that would depend on your motive. If you are seeking attention, then by all means bad publicity will help you accomplish that. However, I would much prefer a good reputation than added attention. If “faking it till you make it” means doing what you can figure out how to until you’ve figured it all out, then I believe in it. I feel like this when I audition for musicals. Also, when I apply winged eyeliner. It’s pretty much a fact that if you are going to pursue the entertainment business, you’re going to face a lot of rejection. I know I’ve certainly found this to be true. I think all you can do is learn from each missed opportunity and move on. I consider myself a very confident person, and I believe in myself. I don’t have an ego, and I strive never to have one and always stay humble. I think haters come with exposure and popularity. There’s always going to be someone that doesn’t like what you bring to the table. If you post a video on YouTube, if you get enough views, eventually someone is going to hit the dislike button. It is extremely easy to care about what others think of you. But others’ opinions of you are worthless, so don’t let them define you. I believe that I have the skill, ability, and drive. I have believed in myself for as long as I can remember. I’m sure this is largely because my parents have always been incredibly encouraging of anything and everything I wanted to do. I’m so thankful for that. But even if I never get the chance to act or sing again or ever produce my work, that’s alright. My identity is secure in Christ, not in worldly success, wealth, or fame. If I were to give advice to the next generation of entertainers, it would be not to spend any your time pursuing fame. Find your passion and your purpose and pursue that with all you’ve got. Don’t waste your life on things that don’t matter. Make it worth something.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Steve Albitson @safit_photography

"The chance to make a difference is my driving force. That's where my hustle comes from."

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My name is Erin Gales. I am a professional dancer, bikini competitor, and a health coach. My purpose in life is to help others live a healthy lifestyle not only for teaching and guiding people in their health journey, but also to lead by example. My purpose is to motivate and inspire others. I think what drives me the most is knowing I have the power to make a difference in the world. I believe everyone is put here on this earth to do something radical - I think that is my radical something. To me, fame means being known for something. I don't think fame necessarily means you have to be known to the world or a general population. Fame has a lot to do with one's reputation whether right or bad. I think fame can be an illusion. If someone is famous, they can still feel alone. Fame can leave people with that lonesome, empty feeling as well as dissatisfaction. What I believe is real about fame is the attention and the fact one is known by others. What isn't real is the idea that fame is associated with positivity. Like I said, fame can leave you with emptiness. I also believe fame can also be related to a mentality or a feeling where fulfillment gives you the joys people hope for with actual fame. The biggest thing I would do with fame would be taking advantage of it (in a good way) by spreading positivity, authenticity, and love. I want to spread these things and make them stick.I would like to think fame wouldn't change me! At least not in a negative way. I would hope fame would change me by giving me more opportunities to spread my purpose in life.Who doesn't want fame? Of course, there's a little part of me where fame is a driving factor, but the chance to make a difference is an even bigger driving force. That's where the hustle comes from. My most important short-term goal would have to be stability -

in life, in finances, in relationships. I feel my most important long-term goal of changing the world through health cannot fully emerge until stability in those areas happen. But this is just a feeling.. I would hope my long-term goal would happen as soon as possible! All publicity doesn't necessarily mean good publicity, but it depends on how you want to look at it. Yes, negative publicity can make you the talk of the town and, therefore, give you more fame. But sometimes negative words can hurt your reputation, therefore, giving you less fame. I think a lot of an artist's hype starts and comes from them. You have to believe in yourself and put yourself out there. That's how I have been working on my hype! I think social media has been a great way for artists to achieve success - it's an excellent tool because most people these days are connected to some form of social media. The only downfall is some create fame for essentially doing nothing while others bust their asses. I think it can be a touchy subject because if I gained fame through social media by hardly doing much, I'd be pumped haha. But because I'm not, I still have to hustle. And hustling is a great quality to have. I think people can fake it until they make it. But that leads me back to being authentic. It would be hard to be proud of yourself if you knew you were faking something - but that's just me. Oh, and I have totally pulled a "fake it til you make it." I was horrible at tap dance growing up so I just smiled bigger and made faces on stage so no one would look at my feet. This example proves my point - I don't tap anymore, and I was still always mediocre. Handling rejection is entirely situational for me. If deep down I knew the rejection was for the better, I was able to shake it off. If I'm completely invested into someone or

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something, rejection is a hard one to handle.. Even if I know, it's for the better. I am also super stubborn, and my feelings can get hurt easily although I'll never show it. I don't think I have a big ego. I know others might disagree, and that's totally fine. I just know I am worthy of the best, and everyone should love themselves enough to feel that way too. My ego shows up when I know I deserve better. I don't necessarily believe that's my ego, I believe it's me being aware of my worth. Oh, haters... They always come with fame. Lies - they come with life. Haters are everywhere. I hear through the grapevine people talking about my social media posts. They talk about me posting gym or bikini competition pictures just for attention. Well, yeah. I'm building my brand and my business. Want to know how I respond to that? I post twice as much. I have found myself saying I don't care what others think about me. This is both true and false. If you’re an important person in my life, of course, I care what you think about me. I care when those people are upset with me or are expressing some form of concern. I know it's because they care, too. Otherwise, if you're Joe Schmo and want to talk smack about my guest. That's on you, bro. I have always believed I've had some X factor, but I'm not sure I have quite figured out what that is yet. I have always believed in my potential to be great, and I will never stop believing in that.  For the next generation of artists out there, here is my advice to you: Never give up and always be a good person. Hard work and integrity will pay off - even if it takes a little longer. It's a whole lot better to know you succeeded because of your hard work, drive and talent as opposed to success through being an a-hole and shady. Trust me. No matter which route you choose to take, you will always be found out for who you are.

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GOLDEN TICKET WINNER

“Fame + Money = Change.”

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My name is Kara Magnuson. My purpose in life is to touch as many people as I can in a positive way and to spread the love of Jesus. Being the best person I can be and being successful in the field of work I am in is a huge motivation for me. Fame means having the spotlight on you, and no privacy. I do not think fame is an illusion. It’s hard not to get a big head or to get cocky when someone becomes famous, I’m sure it’s tough. I think fame would change me. A lot of people stay the same, but sometimes fame can, in fact, change you. But at the end of the day, fame plus money equals change. Whether you decide to let fame make you a better person or let it deteriorate your being…. that is up to you. What would I do with fame? I would use it to encourage body positivity and uniqueness. Attaining fame does not motivate me personally to hustle harder but being financially stable and successful with my music is a motivation for sure. My biggest short-term goal is to be always creating new music, and my long-term goal would be to get signed to a record label that has ethical and moral values that I believe in. All publicity is good publicity .. 100%. I think if an artist generates their hype within their fan base that is great, but personally, I would probably hire my team to help with that. Social media has significantly changed the way artists achieve success because you are now able to promote videos, promotions, and new music more so than when social media was not as big. I think “faking it until you make it” can work in certain scenarios but you should be as real as

you can so that people like the real you, and not that you are pretending to be. There have been many situations where I have been rejected, whether it was for a job position, an acting job, or some singing competition. You cannot take it personally, and you need to get back out and continue trying. I think having a “normal size ego” is ideal. You should have confidence, but cockiness is gross, nobody likes someone who is arrogant or cocky. I think anyone who is in the spotlight definitely will have “haters.” If I do have haters, I do not know about them. I tend to be nice to everyone so hopefully people like me but if not then that’s not my problem. I think everyone cares what people think about them, no matter how many times people say “don’t worry about what people think about you” obviously people are going to be aware and conscientious of people's thoughts and judgments upon themselves. It’s human nature. And the media isn’t helping. Ever since I was a little girl, I have been questioning whether or not I had what it takes to get into the music industry. Some of my biggest celebrity stars are Adele, Queen Latifah, and Tess Holiday. As a plus size girl it’s hard to get into the music industry, but being talented, beautiful, and having a level of body positivity hopefully will shine through! Some advice I would give to the next generation of people trying to get into the music industry would be, make sure you have a Plan B because every single day the music industry is getting harder and harder to get into.

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“It’s the artist’s responsibility to create hype for themselves. Unfortunately, I’ve never created my own hype. My support group hypes me up. I’m blessed to have amazing friends.” 59


My name is Kimona Kistan. I create art and express my light through any form or medium. The purpose of my life is to enlighten people and spread the awareness of our connection to the earth, to each other, and to the universe. I am motivated by the art I experience throughout my life journey; this entails actual pieces of visual art, as well as music, clothing, movements, and even people. I think the most critical part of “fame” is that one can have a voice spread out to large amounts of people, and those who have it also have a tremendous responsibility to represent these people. I believe that everything in this reality is an illusion, that being said, I think people have a lot of misconceptions about the nature of fame. What is real about fame is that those people act as connections to a vast amount of people around the world. If I had fame, I would also spread the idea of being conscious of our actions, thoughts, and our entire existence as humans. I would like to connect people through art. Fame would change me; I would probably have to censor myself more seeing as fame comes with a broad audience. Fame is not my fundamental goal. While the thought of being able to share my art with large amounts of people motivates me, I see fame as more of an instrumental goal to fulfill my inspirations. My most important short time goal is setting up my creative studio. My most important long-term goal is taking care of my family, my health, and fulfilling my dreams of starting my yoga practice. When artists say that before they were famous, they already felt famous because it takes a certain type of person to be a connector and share so much with people they barely know. Those artists have been aware of the

connections. Those connections were there before they were famous, being famous only strengthened those connections, making people more aware of it. “All publicity is good publicity” is a statement only according to fame. Negative imagery will get a person more fame; however it requires sacrificing one’s personal life for fame. I understand that it is the artist’s responsibility to create hype for themselves; Unfortunately, I have never created my hype. However, I have created a lot of hype for close friends who are artists (performing artists or visual artists). My entire support group hypes me up, though; I am blessed to have amazing friends. Social media instantaneously connects artists, and this allows inspiration to flow. I am extremely inspired by those I view on social media. My success will be achieved when I am inspiring people at the rate that others have inspired me and I think social media is an instrumental value in connecting people. I think a correct phrase of “faking it until you make it” is just believing in yourself. Your mind constructs the reality you are in. What you believe becomes your reality. So yes I have believed something (about myself) for so long until it became a part of my identity. The way I accept rejection is mostly dwelling on it and becoming upset about it, but I think you need to acknowledge your failures, so you understand your strengths. Rejection tells me when I need to focus on another path in which I may be lacking. An example is when I got rejected by my top University, University of Washington. However, I took this rejection as an opportunity to focus on something that the university couldn’t offer me. That was when I decided to focus on art instead of marine biology. I have realized art is my passion.

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Regarding ego being the division of the psyche that is conscious, try to be minimal about my ego and not let it carry me away. Although it is tempting, my spiritual practices indicate that one must let go of the limitations of the perception of one’s personality to become one with the Soul Consciousness. I am very blunt about my opinions, and with that comes haters; however, I think most people who dislike me are just misunderstanding me. I think the most powerful type of hater is the type who pretends to be my friend. “keep your friends close but your enemies closer” is a golden rule for them. I like to say that I don't care about what others think of me. It allows me more freedom act like others’ opinions of me are irrelevant. However, peer pressure does push me to excel and reach further than I had before. For example, I am very involved with yoga and in a classroom setting, peer pressure motivates me to execute properly intense yoga positions and hold it for longer periods of time. I believe that we all come from stars. I think that the energy which our consciousness is composed of is the same energy from stars. Even when I get down about the goals I have completed, I think about this concept and regain perspective of my potential. In my opinion, Andy Warhol’s quote “In the future, we will all be famous for 15 minutes” refers to the consistently increasing capability for humans to express themselves on such a massive scale (i.e. the Internet and social media). For future generations, in regards to expression through the entertainment industry, a significant phrase to recall is nothing original. All ideas which occur to you, are compositions of every experience you’ve ever had.

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PHOTO CREDIT: Sarah Feldhut

“My purpose in life? Well, I have a vain hope that it’s to make the world a better place. Photography is the only way I know how to do that.”

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My name is Sarah Feldhut, and I am a photographer. Well, I have a vain hope that my purpose is to make the world a better place. Photography is the only way I know how to do that. A desire to be good and be successful. It’s something that’s been wired into me since I was a little girl. Why did I care how I did in school when I was in 2nd grade? I don’t know. Something just drove me. I want to be good at the things I pursue. I feel like fame is something we all secretly or not so secretly want. As human beings, we seek approval from others. We want to be well liked. Being famous is sort of like that but on a much grander scale. I don’t think that fame makes you better than anyone else. There is a plastic quality that comes with it though I think. When it goes beyond keeping an entirely reasonable boundary between you and the public (if necessary) and moves on to tamper with your sense of self, I feel like that’s where we get the insincerity from. I don’t think the idea of fame motivates me. I think I mostly just

want those close to me, my fellow students, my teachers, photographers, to see my photos and be impressed and admire my work. My most important short-term goal is to focus on school, learn as much as I possibly can. Long term goal? Find happiness. If all you’re looking for is to be well known, then all publicity is good publicity. I don’t think so, though. I’m devastated when I think someone is annoyed with me. I can't even imagine if there was like a nasty article written about me in the paper or something. . It's hard for me to promote myself. I know of a couple of photographers that never advertised but became extremely successful, through word of mouth and recommendations, so I’m hoping things might work out for me like that too. Fake it til’ you make it is pretty much my life story but probably in a different context then asked. I struggle with depression and sometimes that’s just what you have to do. You just got to keep going. I handle rejection very poorly. I cry and cry. Others opinions of 63


me base my opinions about me to a certain extent. I care too much. Way too much. It's one of my biggest problems. Don’t lose yourself in the fame. Do what you do because you feel like your heart will burst if you don’t, because it's something you love because it's something can't imagine not doing for the rest of your life. Don’t do it for the recognition or the “fame”. I feel like art is the only concrete proof that we have a soul, so don't lose it looking for things you don't need.

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“I want to open the eyes of the world. I want to let people know that we can choose to chase our dreams, even when the people around us say that we can’t. Just do you, keep going, don’t stop, f**k what a hater says because you can do anything you put your mind to.”


My name is Shane Fenske, but my stage/ performance name is “Shorty Mac”. My purpose in life is to help change the world in a positive way. I want to change the music game, and bring hip-hop back. I want people to know that, yeah you make mistakes, but there is always time for a change, and to rise and shine! Fame means a lot, but that’s not what I’m in it for, I want to be an icon, someone people look up to: a role model. Fame means more than fame. Famous people inspire me to chase the dream, show people that truly starting from nothing and working your way up is a good feeling, especially when you reach the point of fame. Well if you're famous, it's because people are inspired by you, want to be like you, follow the way you do things, think and act! Fame isn’t something you just get, you have to work hard for it!  I wouldn’t take advantage of it; I would pay my mom's bills off, make sure everyone in my family is taken care of and set, and then I'll start taking care of the people around me who supported me on my journey and came up! It would definitely let me be able to change the lives of people I've wanted to help for so long.   Obtaining the support and love of all my fans makes me hustle harder. Open the eyes of the world so we can all make a change and do good. That we can all chase our dreams, even when our parents or people around us tell us we can’t.

Well, nobody knows you better than you do, people can feel and know there is something special about them, they do what they do to show it and make themselves come up. If you're doing something good within publicity and getting talked about it then yes! But if your f***ing up then it’s probably going to be bad. The music is what gets the crowd going, if your music isn't hyped your crowd won't be hyped about the feel of your energy and your music. I don’t believe in faking it until you make it. That’s too cocky of a mentality, you can't flaunt it unless you bought it, and you’ve got to work hard to get what you want. I hustled for all my designer. To be honest, a lot of people are going to hate and talk smack, but I just take all their hate and make my flow and music nastier. I'm not with the smack talking! I don’t care what people think about me because I know who I truly am, and I'm happy with it.  I do believe that I have the x-factor in me, and I do think I am a star, and I will always support my potentials! I know there is something special about me!! My advice to the next generation? Just do you, keep going, don’t stop, f**k what a hater says because you can do anything you put your mind to. Don’t follow, be something new, be different.

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GOLDEN TICKET WINNER

“Fame doesn’t motivate me, family motivates me. I remember looking at my niece the first time. I want to be someone she can look up to. I want to be someone that she can be proud of.”

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My name is Nali. I'm student, I'm 22 & I make YouTube videos. My purpose in life is to educate. Right now I'm focused on educating myself. I don't think being selfish in this respect is bad. I want to be in a position where I influence change and that means mastery. Family motivates me. I remember looking at my niece the first time I met her and thought 'I want to be someone you can look up to & be proud of.' I want her to look at me the same I looked at my mum when I saw her walk across the stage to get her degree, not once, but twice. There's no flip side. I know family can add pressure, but mine respects me enough to let me find my way. I used to want to be famous. I'm sure everyone goes through that stage. As I grew up, a small part of me still wants fame: That's why I'm on social media. What fame means to me has changed over the years. Fame is about people choosing to invest in your life. When I think about the consequences, the good & the bad ones, I come up with the irritating conclusion that fame is simply what one makes of the experience. Having fame isn't the 'be all & end all' for me. I don't do what I do to be famous. I don't think it would make me happy. Would I enjoy it? Yes. I'd have a ball with it. Fame just doesn't motivate me. If it did, everything would revolve around being relevant. I don't want to live to be about how many likes, followers & attention I get. If people choose to pay attention to me, because they like me or because I inspire them, that would be amazing. I don't seek fame. Being popular doesn't

mean you are liked. I have one thing to say about fame being an illusion: just because something is happening in your head, doesn't mean it's not real. Getting likes or new followers doesn't change that I'll go to bed alone (NOT lonely). That doesn't mean people don't care. Real doesn't always mean tangible. I'd do a lot of things if I were to obtain fame. I'd bring attention to things that are important to me. Fame means you are in a position of influence. I would take advantage of that. For good, not evil. Fame would change me. I think it's naive to say it wouldn't. It would be an experience unlike anything else I've been through. There are good and bad consequences when you go through something like that. One thing that won't change is my heart. My family keeps me grounded and humbled. It's strange talking about fame when I've never experienced it. I can only go off what I see. I don't always like what I've seen. Is it bad to say I don't like goals? Some people need focus & direction. I believe in enjoying the ride & taking opportunities as they come. I met an inspirational woman during Uni in 2015. Her motto was 'who's needs are being met? Our needs change, with age, experience or circumstance. My short term goal is to meet my needs. It's not always easy. For one, we're told it’s a bad thing to do things for ourselves. I need to take care of myself so I can give 100% to everything & be productive. I'm at a point in my life where there are many roads I could go down. I don't have a long-term goal. I have a simple 'hack' for figuring

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out decisions like this: I toss a coin. At the moment the coin is up in the air, I realize what side I hope the coin will land on. That's the choice I go with. Fame is a state of mind. When people say they felt famous being before being famous, I think it's wishful thinking. It sounds good after the fact. Maybe it's a self-fulfilling prophecy, or maybe it's destiny. People don't get famous because they want to be famous. That never works out. Will Smith & Lady Gaga, who both said they felt famous, offered something that people wanted to invest in. That's the ultimate reason people become famous: They do things people care about. Some entertain while others educate or 'edutain.' They have a positive impact on others.I don't think all fame or all publicity is good. For me, it comes down to positive or negative consequences. I don't pay attention to people I don't think to add positivity to my life. Sometimes I feel like social media (and media in general) throws people at me. But it takes no effort to keep scrolling. Media isn't a one-way street; we can choose what we pay attention to. Social media has changed what it means to be successful. I don't think social media means it's easier for the artist to become successful. It's paradoxical. Social media makes it easier to get attention but it also creates an over saturated market for talent. YouTube is a good example of this. It's hard to get noticed & valued because it seems everyone is doing the same thing. It's not all negative and niggly. Social media helps facilitate meaningful relationships & interaction. This means it's relatively easy to grow once you're 'in.' It's not wrong to create hype or to selfpromote. Go for it. I think the choice people make with creating their hype is whether they want to be loved or hated. It's easy to be controversial and get fame, views and attention that way. I wouldn't do it that way. I want to inspire those who choose to follow me in a positive way. I don't think people necessary hear more just because someone shouts. It's the same with attention. People may not get the message just because the way in which it's presented is sensationalized and gets attention. Whenever people talk about fame they bring up

the expression 'fake it till you make it.' I don't see fame that way. Most of the time people present a persona or a part of themselves. We do this all the time. When we're in different situations or with different people, we tend to express a different part of us. The most convincing actors use method acting. They look within themselves to portray characters that may not be anything like them in real life. On occasion, people aren't for me and I get rejected. I don't deal with rejection. I accept it. Sometimes we don't have what others need. That's ok. It's not a character flaw. Rejection does not mean you aren't good enough. It's not egotistical to know you're enough, as you are. We should all strive to be better, every day. But we also need to get out the mentality that having confidence is a bad thing. You need to know what you can offer the world. Fame just doesn't come to people. You have to do something that sparks interest & investment. We can't talk about fame without talking about haters. Unlike those who are simply not for us, haters like to let us know exactly what they think. I have a small channel of fewer than 200 subscribers on YouTuber. I've blocked several people already. I don't mind criticism. No one should have to put up with being insulted, disrespected or bullied, though. That doesn't inspire improvement. Haters don't know you. Most of the time, what a 'hater' says is false. It's based on assumptions that come from no valid premise. I used to argue with 'haters.' Every time they'd say something I'd respond with what I do & think. How are you going to tell me what I say I believe is wrong? I started blocking when I realized anything beyond telling someone it's just silly to go on hating people they don't know is just adding fuel to the fire. When you choose to engage with hate, your drawing attention. Some comments should just get lost in an infinite pit that is human judgement. Haters are one thing. Generally speaking, I do care what people think of me. It's the balancing act. I want to be liked, but I also want to be true to myself. When you start changing to be liked, I think that's going too far. Who do we listen to? The short answer is the 69


people who want to see us win. They're honest with us. They point out what's good but also what we should work on. I've talked a lot about improvement. That comes from a place of knowing I'll keep learning and getting better at doing what I do as I keep on doing it. That doesn't mean I don't think I have 'it' right now. People have different names & Definitions for 'It:' the 'XFactor' or a spark. I have it. I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think I did. To me, having 'It' means knowing I have something to offer the world. We all have that potential. For a while, I was hesitant about YouTube because I wasn't sure what to do with it. Having 'It' doesn't mean anything without confidence. We all have potential but few of us take opportunities to take our potential to the next level. In the words of Joseph Harwood, everyone can win. Sure, there are challenges. There are many challenges. But I think when we persevere and work through our doubts, we can reach our potential. Fame is a result of that. Can anybody be famous? Andy Warhol once said everybody would have their 15 minutes of fame. We live in a world of viral videos and trends. Anyone can be famous, in this day and age. To finish off, I'm going to give some unsolicited advice. Don't be afraid of chasing your potential just because it's hard to get to where you want to be. If you have something to offer the world, take every opportunity you get to show it. Fame isn't something you should seek. It comes when people see your potential because you make a difference in their life.

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“I battle with my ego on a daily basis. I’m trying to leave it at the door more often, so I can fail powerfully. I want to authentically experience my mistakes. I want to grow from them.”

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My name is Dustin Cramer. I am an actor. My purpose in life is to bring the best out of people as I do my best to do so myself. Failure motivates me. I know perfection is unattainable, but understand that greatness is right around the corner. I believe Fame means a spotlight is cast upon you putting you under a microscope, depending on perspective. Everything you say or do is going to be critiqued. It’s a form of power that can be used for the greater good or evil. I believe Fame is and isn’t an illusion. It is because you do have a following, an audience that is for you or against you. Both conflicting over a photo you’re in or something you got caught saying. Being talked about in every home instead of just your own with your family. Your business is for everyone to see. Now, it isn’t real because this is only possible through media feeding it down the people’s throats, making such things headline news or even a current event when there are real significant horrible things happening every day that we as people just pretend we don’t see. It’s sad. Everyone is so obsessed with fame they are distracted from what is going on. I would use Fame to shed light on things I believe in, whether a small group or big, I believe all life deserve a fair share to what this planet has to offer. There is just so much we aren’t aware of because we live in these comfortable bubbles trapped in our routines that we miss the small things. I want people to feel Free and to believe that freedom is more than just waking up and driving to work and eating and driving to the gym then home, etc., repeat. I do think fame would change me. I believe it’d make me louder, allow more to hear what I believe we can strive to be, as ONE, through LOVE. It’s contagious. We just can’t

be afraid of it. A lot of us are afraid of love because we’re scared of what could happen after love and then bunch it up together as if love is wrong because of what else it comes with. But love is free, love is pure, it is the state of happiness. Obtaining fame partially motivates me to hustle harder. Getting to know myself more and more every day outweighs the Fame. My most important short term goal is to become bolder in everything I do, not to bottle things up and to allow myself to have more of a presence. The long-term goal is to become a big time actor to provide a vehicle of positivity that I believe I am and to help lives seek the change they so righteously deserve. What I think artists mean when they say that before they were famous they already felt famous is a sense of truth and worthiness, I feel it too. It’s a state of mind; you just have to believe it. Once you believe it, others will too. All publicity is good publicity if you want to be trending. I do believe it is the artist’s duty to create their hype along with their team and whoever believes in them as well, fans. Other than an Instagram or Facebook post, I haven’t done much hyping. I believe social media has been a great tool for artists to be seen and put in front of the right people to get them wherever it is they seek to go. I do believe in faking it until you make it because I believe you must believe in what you are before you become who you believe you are. You must already see yourself as what you want to be. It’s a state of mind; you must walk the walk and talk the talk.I try handling rejection with a positive state of mind. I stay true to what I believe, and that’s all that matters, the rest is all timing. My most vivid memory of rejection was when I was 17 playing ice

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hockey and I tried out for the LA Jr Kings 18AAA (known to be the best team in the Southwest Region) and had a sit down or exit interview and was not only not picked for the team but told I couldn’t play at that level. That was huge for me to hear, but I didn’t let that sink in, I brushed it off and went to try out for the SoCal Titans 18AAA (a relatively new team with no footprint in the league). I made the team. We ended up beating the Jr kings 6 out of the six times we played them throughout the year, and I believe I had something to do with that. I used rejection to fuel my mind to push myself to where I needed to go. My ego is fairly big, but I believe having one is necessary to achieve what you want. Of course, moderation is key when it comes to the ego. Let it take control and you wind up hurting yourself along with others. The battle with my ego is every day, being able to leave it at the door, so to speak, is how I allow myself to fail and learn from my mistakes making everything that happens to be a lesson learned.I believe haters do come with fame but not only with fame. If you firmly believe in what it is you are doing there will always be someone saying that you can’t. I believe there are people that don’t like to see others happy. It’s sad but true. I pray for them. I don’t try to change a hater or someone who doesn’t want to see me succeed. I believe in keeping my energies focused on positivity, not negativity. I care about what my family and close peers think of me. They help me keep on track. I surround myself with positive people. I don’t know if I believe I have the “X Factor”. I am confident in my skill and willingness to get a story across translated through my expression. I do think I am a star. As I stated before you must believe who you are to become it. There are those days that I lose faith in my potential, but that’s why it is important to have a sound basis with family and positive friends who believe in you. The advice I have for the next generation of artists with regards to fame and the entertainment industry is to strive for what you believe in and never let anyone tell you otherwise. Use the power Fame to do what you believe is right. Never forget your family and close friends because they are your backbone, and to live it up while you can.

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DELUXE EDITION 02/XX/16 E L I X I R B Y M I T C H E L L R OY E L . C O M @ E L I X I R B Y R OY E L

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The Fame Issue by Mitchell Royel  

The Fame Issue by Mitchell Royel featured themed open letters from social media influencers from all over the world.

The Fame Issue by Mitchell Royel  

The Fame Issue by Mitchell Royel featured themed open letters from social media influencers from all over the world.

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